Did you know that some U.S. states with large farming industries are introducing so-called “Ag-Gag” legislation? What’s Ag-Gag? Ag-Gag laws are designed to criminalize whistleblowing activities such as undercover animal cruelty investigations at factory farms and other animal-related industries like slaughterhouses. When these laws are passed, it makes it harder to expose animal cruelty in the agricultural environment.
Ag-Gag laws do more than just harm animals. They can also potentially harm us, too. Many investigations into animal cruelty have also uncovered unsanitary practices and conditions in factory farms and slaughterhouses. Mishandling of animals and animal products can lead to the spread of serious diseases like salmonella to the human population.
Ag-Gag laws will also make it harder to expose the unsafe working conditions for employees of factory farms, slaughterhouses, and meatpacking plants. These are difficult places to work in the best of conditions, and undercover investigations have helped to expose abuse of workers and unethical conduct by employers.
Standing up against Ag-Gag laws means standing up for freedom of speech. Not only would the actual recording of animal abuse be illegal in states with Ag-Gag laws, even the possession and distribution of images of the animals would be a crime as well.
Do you live in a state with Ag-Gag laws? According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Iowa, Utah, Missouri, and North Carolina currently have Ag-Gag laws on the books. You can send a message to the legislators in these states via the ALDF website to make your voice heard. To see which states defeated proposed Ag-Gag laws, check out the ASPCA’s website.
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