Victory! More ‘Ag-Gag’ Bills Defeated
Big Agriculture keeps pushing investigation-stifling “ag gag” bills in numerous states. And animal advocates keep knocking them down. The latest victories are in Indiana and New Hampshire.
The goal of “ag-gag” bills is to make investigations on factory farms a crime. But critics of the bills (pretty much everyone who doesn’t have ties to Big Ag) say that the measures would deprive authorities of the evidence that they need to enforce the law and that the bills violate the First Amendment. That’s why they’re working to get the bills gagged.
In Indiana, Sen. Travis Holdman, who sponsored one such bill, was forced to take out all the ag-gag language from the bill just to get it out of committee, leaving the door wide open for undercover investigations. Last year, Indiana legislators killed a similar bill after GOP members received a video appeal that Republican strategist Mary Matalin shot on PETA’s behalf. Former Indiana resident Tony Kanal of the group No Doubt also sent a letter to legislators, which was widely publicized. And the bill was deemed unconstitutional by the speaker of the house. All those concerns seemed to be still fresh in the legislators’ minds as they weighed the new proposal.
The New Hampshire State House voted down its ag-gag bill this week without even debating it. Last year, an almost identical bill stalled in committee after throngs of PETA supporters responded to our action alert and flooded the legislature with e-mails.
PETA will continue to work to have these bills knocked down wherever they surface. Because if factory farms have nothing to hide, why push so hard to make videotaping their operations illegal?
Mary Matalin, who recently mentioned her work with PETA while promoting her new book, Love & War, on Good Morning America, explains in the video below why undercover investigations are so crucial in exposing and prosecuting abuse.