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Second State Silences Whistleblowers

Second State Silences Whistleblowers

Last week Utah joined Iowa in becoming the second state to pass legislation that will criminalize undercover investigations of agricultural operations.

Passed with unanimous support, HB 187 was signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert and will make it illegal to take, possess or distribute photos, video or audio recordings or to gain access to a facility under false pretenses and may result in penalties of up to a year behind bars or a $1,000 fine.

“By enacting a law that criminalizes undercover investigations revealing cruelty to animals, corporate corruption, unsafe working conditions, environmental violations, or food safety issues at factory farms, Governor Herbert has helped turn factory farms in the state into safe havens for criminal and unethical conduct,” said Nathan Runkle, executive director of Mercy for Animals.

Farm animals are already left with no federal protection and suffer through routine agricultural practices from tail docking, castration without painkillers and debeaking to being confined to in spaces so small they can’t even turn around, in addition to being left vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Undercover investigations are an indispensable tool that have lead to changes in animal welfare policies, and in some cases arrests and convictions of those who were found guilty of abuse. The fact that agribusinesses are pushing so hard, and funding efforts, to hide what’s going on behind closed doors can only leave everyone to draw the conclusion that they do, in fact, have something to hide and don’t actually want consumers making informed choices.

Last year ag gag bills failed in each of the four states they were introduced in thanks to public outrage. This year, seven states have introduced this type of legislation and bills are currently pending in Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Tennessee.

If you live in any of these states, please contact your legislators and ask them to support animal welfare, consumer safety and transparency in agriculture by not allowing this type of legislation to pass in any form.

Related Posts:

Utah Considering Ag Gag Legislation

Iowa Makes it a Crime to Video Animal Abuse

Florida’s Ag Gag Bill Reintroduced

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Photo credit: Stephen & Claire Farnsworth

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485 comments

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6:58AM PDT on Oct 19, 2013

tHESE MONSTERS ARE BEING PAID TO KILL ANIMALS OUTRIGHT BUT LOOK AFTER THEM TILL THAT DAY COMES ,AND ITS NOT HAPPENING HITLERISM THE STAFF ARE ALL GETTING PLEASUERE FROM TORTURING THE TRAPPED ANIMALS IN THEIR CARE.MOST OF THE "STAFF" IN THESE HELL HOLES ARE EX SEX OFFENDERS, PEODOPHILES, ALL THE SH-T OF OUR SOCETY WITH SERIOUS MENTAL PROBLEMS WHO ENJOY WATCHING THE FEAR AND AGONY THEIR ARE INFLICTING ON THE INNOCENT VICTIMS.A new law needs to be brought in for the safety and humane care of all animals in these dumps of cruelty.

6:58AM PDT on Oct 19, 2013

tHESE MONSTERS ARE BEING PAID TO KILL ANIMALS OUTRIGHT BUT LOOK AFTER THEM TILL THAT DAY COMES ,AND ITS NOT HAPPENING HITLERISM THE STAFF ARE ALL GETTING PLEASUERE FROM TORTURING THE TRAPPED ANIMALS IN THEIR CARE.MOST OF THE "STAFF" IN THESE HELL HOLES ARE EX SEX OFFENDERS, PEODOPHILES, ALL THE SH-T OF OUR SOCETY WITH SERIOUS MENTAL PROBLEMS WHO ENJOY WATCHING THE FEAR AND AGONY THEIR ARE INFLICTING ON THE INNOCENT VICTIMS.A new law needs to be brought in for the safety and humane care of all animals in these dumps of cruelty.

6:58AM PDT on Oct 19, 2013

tHESE MONSTERS ARE BEING PAID TO KILL ANIMALS OUTRIGHT BUT LOOK AFTER THEM TILL THAT DAY COMES ,AND ITS NOT HAPPENING HITLERISM THE STAFF ARE ALL GETTING PLEASUERE FROM TORTURING THE TRAPPED ANIMALS IN THEIR CARE.MOST OF THE "STAFF" IN THESE HELL HOLES ARE EX SEX OFFENDERS, PEODOPHILES, ALL THE SH-T OF OUR SOCETY WITH SERIOUS MENTAL PROBLEMS WHO ENJOY WATCHING THE FEAR AND AGONY THEIR ARE INFLICTING ON THE INNOCENT VICTIMS.A new law needs to be brought in for the safety and humane care of all animals in these dumps of cruelty.

1:11PM PDT on Jun 1, 2013

TOTALITARIANISM !!!!!

One definition is :

The political concept that the citizen should be totally subject to an absolute state authority.

Wish there was a petition out there for this.

2:06AM PDT on May 31, 2013

I am apauled at our goverment at how heartless they are where animals are concerned. Who will speak for these poor animals the truth needs to be heard. Why are they trying to pass these bills? What do they have to hide? Because of greed for money these poor animals are the ones that suffer. We need to get new blood in the government. These are God's creatures and should have the dignity they deserve. I am sure these people will get their just reward when their time comes.

10:11PM PDT on May 9, 2013

I am ashamed to be of the same species as these scumbags!

5:34PM PDT on May 8, 2013

SIGNED IT & AS USUAL I AM PASSING IT ON

7:09AM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

Nothing to hide, wouldn't need this law. Tells me these are 2 of the worst states for abuse. Good opportunity for competitors to tout openness and help dry them up to the point of closing. I can only imagine ...

2:02PM PDT on Apr 27, 2013

It just boils down to one thing," money stinking money" and as the human population grows there will be more factory farm's,needed being by themselves the very worst of abuse.

8:53AM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

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