Mixed news on the “ag gag” front: this week, the Missouri House passed ag-gag bill HR 1860, meant to shut down whistleblowing investigations of factory farms. These bills aim to criminalize the conduct of undercover investigators, such as filming or distributing footage taken inside an animal agribusiness facility. The Missouri bill is now in the hands of the Senate.
While Missouri is one step closer to passing “ag gag” legislation, the good news is that New York’s ag-gag bill has been tabled for the remainder of the legislative session. This means the bill is dead for the year.
These developments are just part of the tug-of-war animal advocates have been fighting against big agribusiness and their massive corporate backers who are trying to silence us and black out the one small window the public has into the cruel truth about how meat, milk, and eggs are produced. If the Missouri bill passes, it will be the third ag gag bill this year to become law, after Iowa and Utah. Bills in Indiana, Florida, and Illinois were introduced but failed this year. Meanwhile, bills are pending in four other states.
While we are in the trenches doing what we can to fight against these attempts to shut down our investigations, now more than ever it is important for each of us to exercise our rights to educate others about the tragic realities of factory farming. Let’s spread the word while it is still (mostly) legal to do so. We can start by sharing COK’s investigation of a pig breeding factory farm in Iowa, which may be the last time the public will see inside Iowa’s factory farms.
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