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Ag-gag laws are designed to keep the facts about animal abuses on factory farms secret from the general public. In addition to being a clear violation of the human right to freedom of speech, such laws endanger human health by failing to address unsanitary practices on factory farms that give rise to pandemics such as E-coli, MRSA, and salmonella. Needless to say, the animals on these farms are also oppressed as a result of ag-gag laws, which seek to criminalize the people who seek to expose their suffering, while shielding those who perpetrate it.

And now, it looks like the distressing trend is spreading to Australia, as several prominent politicians and public figures have begun to express their support for such laws.

The seeds were sown last year, when Katrina Hodgkinson, New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries, told a conference of the NSW Farmers’ Association, “We have to keep putting it up to city people that don’t, may not necessarily understand our farming practices and how important they are, that they cannot support these group such as Animals Australia and cannot support what they’re doing.”

She also described undercover investigators as “vandals,” and said that animal rights activists were “akin to terrorists.”

Meanwhile, Western Australia (WA) Liberal Senator Chris Back has also stated his support for stronger actions against animal advocates who work to expose conditions on factory farms. Robert Brown from the Australian Shooters and Fishers Party denounced the work of such advocates last week, and called for tougher laws to prevent them from monitoring agricultural facilities.

Will Potter, the journalist who broke the story of undercover investigator Amy Meyer’s prosecution in Utah last year, believes that the ag-gag trend has begun to spread to Australia because “there is a long history of open rescues and undercover investigations here, and activists such as Patty Mark and Animal Liberation Victoria are known internationally for their pioneering work.”

Siobhan O’Sullivan, animal rights author and research fellow at the University of Melbourne, says, “the fact that (animal activists) must trespass at all suggests that farmers are generally more interested in protecting their private property rights than transparency. If farmers are committed to animal rights, then why not open the gate and let the public look inside?”

The answer to this, of course, is that farmers don’t want the public to know anything, as they are well aware that many people would be revolted to discover the truth. And the last thing they want is for their profits to be reduced.

However, we can take heart from the fact that many U.S. states are now choosing to say “no” to these insidious laws, including California, Illinois, Minnesota, and Kentucky. To find out more about stopping ag-gag legislation in its tracks, check out our article detailing how to do just that. Whether you want to sign a petition, contact your state government officials, support the work of animal rights NGOs, or spread the word, the power to end this senseless cruelty is in your hands!

Image Source: Compassion in World Farming/Flickr

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55 comments on “‘Ag-Gag’ Movement Spreads to Australia as Public Figures Call Animal Activists ‘Terrorists’”

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3 Years Ago

I was a meat eater and ironically, it is Ag-gag that pushed my husband and I to stop eating meat. It is outrageous that in a country such as the United States of America, people who whistle-blow for an admirable cause get persecuted and labeled as terrorists. Are you kidding me! Terrorists wear guns and shot people, put knives to peoples throats, kidnap people and blow up buildings and you want to label someone who cares about the injustices towards animals as one. This country has lost it\'s mind. I\'m convinced more than ever that big business is running this country and I\'m fed up. So, people like me who are not activists or vegans are fuming mad. You can thank Ag-gag for stopping my husband and I from eating meat. It prompted our awareness and we decided to bear witness to what the gov\'t was so mad about. The real issue is how these animals are being treated and I\'m not going to eat your unconstitutional laws that make good people animals suffer. These farms should be investigated as these are living, breathing, feeling, and emotional beings not THINGS!

Kris Commeans
4 Years Ago

Yet again money trumps morality.

4 Years Ago

The problem will continue to grow as people who lie about the care of animals and harass the wrong people make a bad name for those who do try to care properly for animals and do things the right way. We have too many animal rights cults who are out only for the money and we all know that is HSUS, PeTa and now the ASPCA don\'t care about the animals only the money and the power to get more money. . BIG money, ask why would HSUS needs to salt away 35 million dollars in off shore island banks. These are the groups that are scamming the public and harassing people. So of course you lose credibility do to the actions of these money grubbing cults.

Debbie Burks
4 Years Ago

Industrial factory farming must be ended !! NOW !!

Amanda Vancel
4 Years Ago

We need a more educated public. Commercials explaining what the ag-gag bill is and what it really means for both people and animals. Something that can't be turned away from and isn't seen only by the people who already care and fight against it.

Andy Lora
4 Years Ago

They can Ag-Gag all they want. WE KNOW THE TRUTH. They can put a stop to new investigation videos, however, they can't rid the ones that's already documented

Yvonne Robertson
4 Years Ago

It's about time the truth was told about the cruelty that goes on in the meat and dairy industry.

Lisa Jetton
4 Years Ago

If animal rights activist are terrorists then people who work at slaughter house who owns farm that raise cattle ,pigs ,chickens are serial killers

Jam Iro Cat
4 Years Ago

i think the real terrorists are the ones beating the pigs and killing them.

Kathy Hogue
4 Years Ago

All about the $$...they don't want people to see the truth as it is the only thing that might change the way they think about eating meat!!! SAD and frustrating!!!!


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