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Videotape a Farm in Iowa: Go to Jail.

Videotape a Farm in Iowa: Go to Jail.

Iowa lawmakers are attempting to pass laws that would make it illegal for activists to investigate animal cruelty on farms.

The bill would make it a crime to “interfere with property associated with a livestock operation” by producing, possessing, or distributing audio or visual recordings of the operation. Violating the proposed law could result in a ten year prison sentence if the operations of the livestock facility are disrupted enough to cause $100,000 in losses for the owner.

Ten years in prison because you tried to let people know how badly animals are treated on farms in Iowa.

Much of the debate around the proposed legislation has been framed by accusations that the ultimate goal of undercover investigations of farms are done with the intention to “disparage” the agriculture industry. Backers of the legislation have even made the ludicrous claim that activists stage scenes of cruelty to farm animals in order to make the industry look bad.

It would be hard to explain how an activist stages some of the things we’ve seen in undercover investigations. In just one famous example, on the Wiles Hog Farm in Ohio most of the videotaped cruelty was committed by members of the Wiles family themselves. The investigation of the Wiles Hog Farm was made into a documentary for HBO.

This legislation comes on the heels of legislation proposed in Florida by Senator Jim Norman that would make it a felony to photograph farms without written consent from the owner of the farm, even if those photographs were taken from public roads or airplanes. The Florida bill is blatantly unconstitutional and would never stand up to a challenge in federal court.

Bills like this one in Iowa and the one in Florida serve only one purpose: to keep people in the dark about what it really means to eat animals. Those in the industry are terrified of the investigations we’ve heard about at Wiles or the recent HSUS investigation of Smithfield.

In Iowa they say their goal is to prevent activists from disparaging the industry’s image. But there’s no way to show what happens in a slaughterhouse in a positive light. It’s hard to film animals being tortured, confined, and murdered in a way that makes the industry look like innocent.

Those who make a living by killing animals know that their entire business model relies on the public not being aware of the overwhelming misery that occurs at every step of production. If you want to know what really happens on these farms then the undercover investigations are the only way you’re going to get the truth.

And the last thing that the livestock industry wants you to have is the truth.

Related Stories:

Photograph a Farm in Florida: Go to Jail.

Largest US Pork Producer Ignores Welfare Promises

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Photo: celesteh

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7:33PM PDT on Aug 2, 2014

Stop abusing animals! Put the abusers in jail, not the whistleblowers! Have you people gone stark raving mad???

7:28PM PDT on Aug 2, 2014

Jailing people for reporting abuse to a living creature is entirely unacceptable and immoral!
Thanks for posting this article, Mac!
Thanks for reading, everyone!
God bless! Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior!

8:33AM PDT on Mar 24, 2013

If they were doing right, they wouldn't care!

11:55PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

don't be ridiculous, this right is already guaranteed to you in the first amendment. AKA freedom of the press?

8:30AM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

Where is America's freedom today? Big factory farms give big bucks to politicians & they get the laws passed that favor them. That sucks!

11:25AM PST on Mar 10, 2012

Please sign my petition on this issue. Thanks, Susan V.

1:03PM PST on Feb 13, 2012

More politicians conspiring with industry and corporations. Sickening.

10:32PM PST on Nov 16, 2011

never seen one in action though, The job did stuff for the tar sands too. You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes. Smaller farmers who are scared to go organic have to switch to these methods to try and keep up. The fact remains though, that this farming method produces more waste than some of these guys know what to do with. I don't think it's unnatural to eat meat, I think it's immoral to torture it first.

Sorry about the length but that's, I think, the most important part of the wiki.

10:24PM PST on Nov 16, 2011

Someone would just have to get busted doing it and hope the court would recognize the constitution. That wouldn't stand up.
"Environmentalists contend that "sustainable livestock operations" present a "less costly alternative."[33] These operations, it is argued, "address potential health and environmental impacts through their production methods." And though "sustainably produced foods may cost a bit more, many of their potential beneficial environmental and social impacts are already included in the price."[33] In other words, it is argued that if CAFO operators were required to internalize the full costs of production, then some CAFOs might be less efficient than the smaller farms they replace.[34]
[edit] Other economic criticisms

Critics of CAFOs also maintain that CAFOs benefit from the availability of industrial and agricultural tax breaks/subsidies and the "vertical integration of giant agribusiness firms."[28] The U.S. Department of Agriculture, for instance, spent an average of $16 billion annually between FY 1996 to FY 2002 on commodity based subsides.[35] Some allege that the lax enforcement of anti-competitive practices may be contributing to the formulation of market monopoly. Critics also contend that CAFOs reduce costs and maximize profits through the overuse of antibiotics.

Not that I'm a vegan, but that's no way to treat an animal. I've built containment ponds for those in retrospect, really. I've never seen o

4:57AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

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