Following failure in Florida and Minnesota, the New York and Iowa state legislative sessions have come to a close without the passage of their Ag Gag bills. which would have criminalized undercover investigations of farms.
These bills, which were openly promoted by agribusiness, would have silenced whistle blowers and made it illegal for anyone to take or possess photos or video on farms, while agribusinesses would have been left unaccountable.
Iowa’s bill died, ironically, right on the heels of yet another undercover investigation released by Mercy for Animals of Iowa Select Farms in Kamrar, Iowa, the fourth largest pork producer in the U.S.
Those who can stomach going undercover to document the cruelty that Big Ag would happily keep contained behind closed doors have exposed cruel treatment, which has lead to criminal charges being filed, in addition to new regulations being put in place. These investigations also provide an opportunity for the public to make informed choices about what they consume, along with providing people with the ability to make decisions about acceptable standard industry practices and reform of animal cruelty laws.
While it’s a victory for animals and the First Amendment now, there is a chance they could be brought back next year.
Photo Credit: Stephen Fulljames