A wonderful victory for farm animals in North Carolina! The North Carolina state legislature has officially adjourned without passing a bill that would penalize undercover investigators for revealing the insane abuse that occurs on factory farms.
The rise of ag-gag legislation in the United States has gained quite a lot of opposition over the past few years. Ag-gag legislation is specifically crafted to prevent whistleblowers from exposing the animal cruelty and abuse that goes on behind the closed doors of factory farms. This legislation is aimed to protect animal product manufacturers from being seen in a negative light by consumers. After all, if the public learns what really happened to the animal before it found its way to their plate, they might reconsider their decision to buy meat– or rather to buy a specific brand of meat.
So, in response, the animal agriculture industry has begun to develop legal grounds to prevent this from happening. By labeling whistleblowers as “terrorists” and creating penalties for anyone who is caught taking photos or videos in a factory farm, the animal agriculture industry is hoping to keep their frightening secrets from ever reaching the public eye.
The defeat of North Carolina’s ag-gag legislation comes thanks to the hard work of Mercy for Animals and the Humane Society of the United States. MFA recently carried out a number of undercover investigations into three Butterball turkey factories in North Carolina revealing the shocking conditions and abuse on these facilities. In tandem, HSUS released a series of PSAs illustrating how ag-gag legislation in the state threatens public health and animal welfare standards. Bringing greater awareness to this important piece of legislation, these amazing animal welfare organizations have helped to deter the progress of this bill.
It is important to note that this is a single victory, but the battle against ag-gag in North Carolina is not yet finished. The legislature is expected to reconvene later this year, during which time this piece of legislation could be reconsidered. To learn more about what is being done to combat ag-gag legislation and how you can help out, check out the MFA website and the HSUS website.