Does it violate First Amendment rights to free speech? Or does it protect farmers? Proposed legislation in Iowa and Minnesota would criminalize undercover “whistleblower” photography and videos of animal abuse at farms and other animal use facilities.
In a new video, Animal Air asked two animal protection advocates and two animal agriculture representatives for their views on the bills.
Under Iowa’s pending bill House File 589, taking videos or photographs of such incidents could result in felony charges and prison time.
Sarah Hubbart, Animal Agriculture Alliance:
“We definitely see this as an important way to protect farmers from undercover extremists who have one goal in mind, and that’s to eliminate the entire animal ag industry.”
Wayne Pacelle, The Humane Society of the United States:
“It’s really an attempt to quash exposure of cruelty that’s occurring on factory farms.”
Aaron Putze, Iowa Soybean Association:
“Is this about actually reporting animal abuse or alleged animal abuse? Or is it about recording alleged animal abuse, many times in which the video can’t be proven or disproven?”
Nathan Runkle, Mercy for Animals:
“We believe there’s a strong case that it’s unconstitutional… It’s the public’s ability to know how animals are being treated that allows them to make informed decisions, and what the agribusiness industry is trying to do is silence whistleblowers.”
Watch the interviews.
For more info:
Please check this page again soon for ongoing coverage of proposed legislation to restrict or prohibit undercover videos at animal use facilities.
Or SUBSCRIBE to Animal Policy Examiner for free – just click the ‘Subscribe’ button under the headline above to receive emails letting you know whenever there’s a new article. It’s totally anonymous, and no other emails will bombard you.
APE’S related articles:
Calf farm owner admits he failed to prevent severe abuse of dairy calves
Calf abusers probably won’t get jail time, prosecutor predicts
Calves hammered, kicked, and burned in new Mercy for Animals undercover video
News media could face prosecution under animal abuse whistleblower bill
Rich lobbies back ‘unconstitutional’ ban on undercover videos, says lawmaker
Undercover whistleblowers can endanger animals and food, says lawmaker (Part 1)
Undercover photographers to be punished worse than the animal abusers they film
Bill banning undercover animal abuse videos clears committee in Iowa senate
Humane advocate discusses proposed Iowa ban on undercover videos of animal abuse
Breaking news – Whistleblower videos of animal abuse banned by Iowa house
Action Alert: Lawmakers vote Thursday on undercover animal abuse videos
Katerina Lorenzatos Makris (a.k.a. Kathryn Makris) has written 18 books for major publishers and hundreds of articles for publications such as National Geographic Traveler, San Francisco Chronicle, Mother Jones, Petside.com, and two regional news wire services.
A cofounder of AnimalBeat.org, she holds a B.A. in Environmental Science Studies and a lifelong interest in animal issues.
Among her books are Your Adopted Dog: Everything You Need to Know about Rescuing and Caring for a Best Friend in Need (The Lyons Press), coauthored with Shelley Frost, and The Eco-Kids, a series of novels for tweens (Avon Books).
Her story “Small Change” placed as a finalist in The Bark magazine’s short fiction contest and appeared in the November 2010 issue.
She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHT LAW. If you like this article and would like to use it, please feel free to copy only the first paragraph with a link back to this page. To use more, kindly request permission at email@example.com