Sorry, Big Ag: PETA, ALDF ‘Ag-Gag’ Lawsuit Gets Green Light
Update: Yesterday, after a PETA Foundation lawyer argued PETA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s case, a Utah judge rejected the state’s attempt to have our lawsuit contesting the state’s “ag-gag” law dismissed.
“The American public has a right to know about the horrific conditions on factory farms, and the Utah ‘ag-gag’ law is a blatant violation of free speech and freedom of the press,” said general counsel to PETA Jeff Kerr. “The court’s ruling allows this case to proceed so that PETA can prove what it has said all along: The ‘ag-gag’ law violates the Constitution. PETA is excited for this case to proceed and expects that it will result in the nullification of Utah’s ‘ag-gag’ law.”
Originally posted on July 21, 2013:
PETA—along with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, investigative journalists, a political journalist, a university history professor and animal rights advocate Amy Meyer, who was recently arrested for filming a downed cow at a Utah slaughterhouse—have filed a groundbreaking lawsuit challenging that state’s “ag-gag” law, which prohibits documenting animal abuse at agricultural operations. The plaintiffs contend that this agri-business law amounts to an unconstitutional attack on investigators’ First Amendment rights.
We Won’t Be Silenced
Since PETA was founded more than 30 years ago, we’ve been uncovering illegal actions and egregious cruelty inside laboratories, circuses, fur farms, puppy mills, factory farms, and slaughterhouses. We believe that people have a right to know what happens to animals behind closed doors.
In 2013, a whistleblower captured video footage of terrified mother pigs’ final moments inside Southern Quality Meats, Inc. (SQM), a Pontotoc, Mississippi, slaughterhouse.
In addition to exposing flagrant cruelty to animals, PETA investigations have revealed routine agricultural practices that cause profound animal suffering, such as the use of battery cages for hens, veal crates, and sow gestation crates, all to intensively confine animals.
Utah’s law keeps cruelty to animals a big secret that only the profiteers can see. It’s a blatant violation of free speech and freedom of the press. It seeks to punish the whistleblowers and investigators who expose inhumane and illegal conduct on factory farms and at slaughterhouses, instead of going after the people who commit these crimes.
What You Can Do
The U.S. Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to speak out against abuse, even when committed by those in positions of power and privilege—and animals need us to exercise that right. Please, when animals are in danger, never be silent!