Tag Archives: ag-gag

77 ALEC Bills in 2013 Advance a Big Oil, Big Ag Agenda

2 Aug

by Brendan Fischer / PR Watch

hands_in_crude_oil350px

At least 77 bills to oppose renewable energy standards, support fracking and the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, and otherwise undermine environmental laws were introduced in 34 states in 2013, according to a new analysis from the Center for Media and Democracy, publishers of ALECexposed.org. In addition, nine states have been inspired by ALEC’s “Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act” to crack down on videographers documenting abuses on factory farms. 

ALEC, Fueled by Fossil Fuel Industry, Pursues Retrograde Energy Agenda

For decades, ALEC has been a favored conduit for some of the worlds largest polluters, like Koch Industries, BP, Shell, Chevron, and Exxon Mobil, and for decades has promoted less environmental regulation and more drilling and fracking. 

ALEC bills in recent years have pulled states out of regional climate initiatives, opposed carbon dioxide emission standards, created hurdles for state agencies attempting to regulate pollution, and tried to stop the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation introduced in 2013 carries on this legacy. ALEC bills favor the fossil fuel barons and promote a retrograde energy agenda that pollutes our air and water and is slowly cooking the planet to what may soon be devastating temperatures.

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Gagged by Big Ag: How Exposing Abuse Became a Crime

17 Jun
Illustration by Tim O'Brien

Illustration by Tim O’Brien

Horrific abuse. Rampant contamination. And the crime is…exposing it?

by Ted Genoways / Mother Jones

Shawn Lyons was dead to rights—and he knew it. More than a month had passed since People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had released a video of savage mistreatment at the MowMar Farms hog confinement facility where he worked as an entry-level herdsman in the breeding room. The three enormous sow barns in rural Greene County, Iowa, were less than five years old and, until recently, had raised few concerns. They seemed well ventilated and well supplied with water from giant holding tanks. Their tightly tacked steel siding always gleamed white in the sun. But the PETA hidden-camera footage shot by two undercover activists over a period of months in the summer of 2008, following up on a tip from a former employee, showed a harsh reality concealed inside.

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North Carolina Law Would Make It Illegal to Expose Monsanto

29 May

by Will Potter / Green Is The New Red

march-against-monsanto-300x265Two million people in 52 countries marched against Monsanto last week in protest of genetically-modified food and in support of consumer choice. There’s international pressure on this GMO giant like never before.

But proposed legislation in North Carolina would make it illegal for whistleblowers to expose how Monsanto and other corporations are threatening public health and the environment.

North Carolina’s SB 648 is appropriately named the “Commerce Protection Act.” The bill makes it illegal to obtain employment in order to “create or produce a record that reproduces an image or sound occurring within the employer’s facility, including a photographic, video, or audio” or “to capture or remove data, paper, records, or any other documents…”

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Undercover Video, Ag Gag and Where We Get It Wrong

28 Apr

How should the animal rights and environmental movement use undercover footage of illegal practices? This article argues that the current trend of using footage to prosecute individual workers may be taking blame and attention away from industries of abuse.

Cross posted from The Vegan Police:

opednews.com

image from opednews.com

I’ve followed the introduction of Ag Gag Bills – bills designed to criminalize undercover video of animal use industry – since they were in the dream phase in the wake of the Conklin Dairy Farm undercover video in 2010. That particular undercover investigation, I feel, is one of the most important undercover video investigations in the history of the “animal rights” movement and set the stage for the current battles around Ag Gag bills as well as our movements response.

The footage captured in that investigation was horrific and one particular character seemed to take pleasure in extreme violence against animals on the farm – Billy Joe Gregg Jr. It was nearly impossible to watch that footage and not dream of justice – whether you were a regular member of the public or a hardened animal liberationist. Animal agriculture – across the country – went into overdrive to recognize this particular weakness and exploited it. Billy Joe Gregg Jr. was the “bad apple,” the fall guy. The movement as a whole was so wrapped up in this character, in this horrific footage, that very few people questioned the structure of industrialized animal use or the precedent being set – the singling out and criminalization of individual workers as a movement strategy and measure of “success.”

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New Ag-Gag Bill Introduced in North Carolina on Same Day Butterball Worker Pleads Guilty to Cruelty

11 Apr

Posted from Green is the New Red

North Carolina is the latest state to consider a new law targeting whistleblowers, undercover investigators, and journalists who expose factory farms. The legislation was introduced on the same day that a fifth Butterball employee pled guilty to criminal cruelty to animals — charges that wouldn’t be possible without the undercover investigations that bills like this aim to criminalize.

The wave of legislation called “ag-gag” bills has been met with increasingly mainstream media exposure and outrage, such as the excellent front page story in the New York Times this week.

North Carolina’s SB 648, the “Commerce Protection Act,” is a good example of how corporations and industry groups are responding to the media backlash. Continue reading

Indiana Bill Would Make It Illegal to Expose Factory Farms, Clearcutting and Fracking

2 Apr

Yeah.. Like this picture would be a no-go.

Re-posted from Green is the New Red

Indiana lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it illegal to photograph or videotape things like factory farming, clear-cutting forests, mining, and fracking.

You read that correctly. Under Indiana’s SB 0373, anyone who sets foot on corporate property in order to document environmental, animal welfare, and health violations of these industries would face criminal penalties.

The bill has already passed the Senate, and is on track to pass the full House. It is part of a wave of similar legislation introduced across the country that have been dubbed “ag-gag” bills. [Here’s a detailed look at ag-gag efforts nationally.] But Indiana is poised to become the first state to pass an ag-gag bill this year.

This ag-gag trend is the brainchild of the Big Ag industry, working with the American Legislative Exchange Council. What’s especially troubling about Indiana’s bill, though, is that it extends far beyond factory farms to the timber, mining, and manufacturing industries. Continue reading

Activists protest bill to prevent undercover investigations of industrial farms

2 Mar

By Monica Eng

Demonstrators gather in Iowa on March 1 to protest a bill outlawing undercover investigations at industrial livestock facilities. (Mercy for Animals)

 

 

Over the last few years, gruesome undercover videos taken in factory farms have proven powerful contributors to food recalls, public outrage and subsequent changes in the public and private sector. This includes McDonald’s pledge last month to stop using producers who cage sows in gestation crates.

But those videos may also have contributed to a raft of so called “ag-gag” bills that have popped up around the nation again criminalizing unauthorized entrance and photography in industrial livestock operations.

Efforts to stop the bills has been fairly successful in the past, which may be why so many were caught off guard by the swift passage of House File 589, through the Iowa legislature this week. The bill is now on Iowa Gov. Terry  Branstad’s desk waiting for a signature.

But activists have moved quickly, too. Thursday, Chicago-based Mercy For Animals, which has carried out a number of such undercover investigations, organized a protest at the State House in Des Moines where dozens of gagged and blindfolded protesters stood with signs depicting caged livestock.

Governor Branstad’s office told the Tribune it is still “reviewing the bill but was encouraged by the broad bi-partisan support it received in both the House and Senate.” 

Animal rights and sustainable ag advocates are anxiously awaiting Brandstad’s decision as similar bills are pending in eight states, including Illinois.

For full article see source as cross-posted from here