Tag Archives: factory farm

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

States Consider Bans on Farm Photos with penalty of Felony

18 Mar

Will this photo get us a felony?

In the past decade, modern industrial agriculture has experienced a stream of negative media attention, a significant departure from the typical pastoral image of American farming. The livestock industry in particular has come under fire with the release of undercover videos exposing animal cruelty.

 

In 2004, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) secretly filmed a video revealing horrific images of workers at a West Virginia slaughterhouse kicking, stomping, and slamming live chickens against walls and floors. The video brought about a massive investigation of the slaughterhouse, as well as several firings of workers who had engaged in the abuse.

A few years later, in 2008, The Humane Society published a similar undercover, investigative video documenting the abuse of “downer” cattle, or cattle that are too sick or injured to stand or walk, upon arriving at a California slaughterhouse. In what Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and an expert in slaughter practices, called “one of the worst animal-abuse videos I have ever viewed,” the video showed workers kicking the downed cattle, dragging them by chains, pushing them with forklifts, and delivering repeated electric shocks in an attempt to get them to stand up for inspection.

In addition to those videos, many others have surfaced in recent years as a result of hidden filming by animal rights advocates posing as employees on farms and in processing plants. In some circumstances, these images have provided the evidence necessary to close a plant, recall certain products, and to pursue criminal sanctions.

In what some say is a response to the bad publicity created by these videos, two states have introduced bills that make it a felony to photograph or record a farm without first obtaining written permission from the owner.

Senator Jim Norman (R) of Florida proposed the legislation, SB 1246, on Feb. 21, 2011. The bill provides that:

“[a] person who photographs, video records, or otherwise produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture operations are being conducted without the written consent of the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits a felony of the first degree.”

Read the rest of the story at: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/03/in-the-past-decade-modern/