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Why Iowa Wants to Make Farm Photos Illegal

Written by PETA | July 1, 2011

Update: Iowa’s general assembly adjourned for the year on Thursday without voting on HF 589, essentially killing the “ag gag” bill.

New video footage shot during an undercover investigation on an Iowa pig factory farm should be enough to make anyone who isn’t profiting from the abuse of pigs swear off pork chops.


The footage shot by Mercy for Animals shows similar abuses to those documented by PETA during investigations at pig farms in North Carolina and Iowa in 2007 and 2008. Workers are seen kicking piglets and hurling them across the room. The piglets have their tails cut off and testicles ripped out by hand, without being given any painkillers, and some piglets later die from herniated intestines.

As is standard practice on factory farms, mother pigs are crammed into stalls so small that they cannot even turn around. Constant pregnancies leave the sows so weak and exhausted that they often suffer from prolapsed uteruses.

A proposed “ag gag” (“gag” is appropriate, if you’ve seen the footage) bill in Iowa would make taking a photograph of or filming on a farm illegal, which would effectively keep anyone still eating meat from seeing what happens to pigs, chickens, and other animals every day of their lousy lives. PETA Vice President Dan Mathews has held news conferences in Iowa showing PETA’s photos and video from Iowa farms, and his news conference in New York helped defeat a similar bill there. If you live in Iowa, please take a moment to urge your state senators to oppose HF 589.  

Written by Heather Faraid Drennan

Commenting is closed.
  • Leenaa says:

    THIS IS BEYOND AWFUL… IM SO GLAD I DONT EAT PORK. I’m from Iowa, and I’m really pissed about how the farms are treating the pigs, not only is the pork industry disgusting, its also beyond cruel, how can these people stand to live? No wonder so many people don’t eat pigs.

  • Aspire101 says:

    I’m also from Iowa and am ashamed of this bill and how many factory farms are treating their animals. The truth is this kind of cruelty is not just in the state of Iowa and not just pigs, but also cattle and poultry and in nearly every state! We must stand up for these animals that are unable to fight back and stop these factory farms from abuse, murder, and pollution.

  • Paula says:

    THINK before you eat!

  • Oliver says:

    What makes people do this to animals ? I really cant figure it out. They should try smell to some sarin, it would make them better people

  • Richelle says:

    This is so terrible. Photos like this leave me speechless and I am proud to say I have not eaten meat since February and will never do so again. I just have a question: when undercover investigators go to these factory farms, is anything done to help or save these animals when the animal lovers are actually there? I couldn’t physically be there and not do anything about it, other than gather videos and photos for the public to see, which is very important of course. But I’m just wondering if anything else is done in the moment to help that poor animal?

  • Nora Marasco says:

    I also live in Iowa and have stopped eating any pork products am now eating beef only a couple times a year……I am disgusted and sickened by my home states lax Animal Cruelty laws and I have assisted in Dog rescue and Doggie rehab for many years in the midwest region. If perps who commit these cruel acts are allowed to LIVE-they will continue to abuse loving and innocent creatures if they be human or animal. Our government is totally corrupt if they also allow any of this to continue in any way, shape or form!!!!!

  • zeus says:

    I live in northwest Iowa and I am ashamed of my state. Factory farming is all over. It sickens me everytime I drive by one. It is all done for the almighty buck. The farmers that treat these pigs like this will answer for it someday. I no longer eat pork. The only way this will change is thru state law. The factory farm has to end. Consumers need to quit purchasing the product & it will change.

  • Saucy says:

    Today I am ashamed to be an American. No one gets my vote until this changes. Seed time and harvest huh? Well America your sowing evil seeds and your harvest is from HELL. Shame on you America. Shame on you Congress, Senate, President, Mayor. Playing host to the TABLE OF SATAN.

  • pj56 says:

    I have not eaten bacon or pork products for years now. Refuse to do it.

  • 109000 says:

    It’s so cruel, so awful… In my country, at least in area where I live is farming pigs often work… Many people have cows, pigs, chickens and sheeps and sell it for meat. But it isn’t even similar to that farming at this video, animals live in stalls, but their lifespace is much bigger, no one is that cruel to them, no one cuts their tails off or castrates them, I have about 50 chickens at home and they spend most of the day eating grass… that’s why I’m happy that pork chops and chicken wings that I eat are from nearby.. If I lived in U.S., where food comes from supermarkets, I wouldn’t eat meat in a billion years..

  • nina says:

    omg. this is terrible,. i was crying and i cant believe it. :/ this needs to stop.

  • Pandita says:

    Tell me, if its so wrong to torture and kill humans and our young why should it be okay to do it to animals? they have feelings like we do and feel pain and agony dont you think they want to have a life where they are loved and cared for? If people can do this animals then i guess we should do it to humans.

  • James says:

    Proponents of Iowa bill HF 589 feel that they know “the difference between pets and livestock”. Desensitized Ignorance such as this, in this day and age, is an absolute shame. Video does not lie.

  • Chris says:

    *** the state IOWA, trying to protect places of **** like that! I would love to let those responsible feel my hate about this barbarity. How could we still be happy about anything, if we know there are happenings like that?!

  • Patricia Webster says:

    Evil cowards,need a taste of their own medicine.

  • Tasha says:

    sick and cruel! It was a video similar to this that made me swear off meat forever.4 years strong and veg for life!

  • zeus says:

    I live in Iowa & am ashamed that Iowa Farmer’s treat their animals like this. Everytime I drive by a factory farm, It sickens me to think about the living conditions & treatment these animals endure. I do not eat pork anymore & I try to educate as many people I can about this situation. The people who treat these beautiful animals like this will answer for it someday. Just know there is one less Iowan consuming pork.

  • becky says:

    that is disgusting! Proud to say i turned vegetarian a week ago and im NOT turning back!

  • Denise Moser says:

    Oh my this is horrible :'( these poor pigs. It’s sickening how people can torture these smart, loving animals. When will the craziness stop?

  • lisa says:

    Im not surprised atall with this latest footage of animal cruelty it seems the norm in the USA on these factory farms, i have been a PETA member for some time now im also a vegetarian and help animals as much as i can but am losing faith in PETA US i am from the UK and find that PETA UK have more successes,for example we stopped an intensive dairy farm from being built also an intensive pig farm, most recently we have stopped a US company wanting to build a Beagle Breeding centre soley to breed to send to laboratories and a farmer that wanted planning permission to build a rabbit farm there hasnt been one here for 15yrs, every application has been turned down due to British people saying no and also local councils listening to the public and refusing planning applications, together we have saved thousands of animals lives. If the UK can do it why cant the USA?

  • eva says:


  • Søren says:

    This is absolutely disgusting and heartbreaking to watch, and any responsible politician who has a heart ought to put an end to all this animal abuse and NOT to those who document it.

  • Ruth says:

    IN GOD’S NAME – What’s wrong with these people. Inflicting pain for pleasure?????? You will have nowhere to hide……..

  • Pat says:

    Those photos are the same as the security cameras watching us all the time – if you are behaving yourself, there’s no problem. If you choose criminal behavior, the evidence is there. If farmers are treating their animals humanely, they have nothing to fear. Only the cruel/criminal ones have to fear the cameras..

  • paradigm shift says:

    it is why in psychological circles and profiling, you can tell future serial ki!!ers when they abuse animals growing up…just like brian said how a man treats animals is how he he would treat humans.

  • Birgit Löwe says:

    Oh GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!Stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jessica says:

    We have been hunters since the beginning of man, it is all we knew!! The problem with this is mass production due to overpopulation! If everyone would go green, plant gardens and buy meet from their local organic farmers AND boycott these mass production companies then there would be a lot less of this kind of abuse! People need to stand up and do something about this! Not eating meat is not going to help these animals!!! WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!


    This is the saddest video to watch and what’s even sadder is that people choose to pretend that this doesn’t happen……. it makes them feel better if they don’t know the truth. Please God…… help these pigs.

  • MrsK says:

    By all that is holy this has to stop! My heart is breaking watching this. Words escape me. This is beyond anything. Meat eaters cannot justify it. There is no reason on this beautiful gift we call our Mother Earth that anyone should eat meat and support the actions of these killers and torturers for that is what they are. I wish I could do more to stop it other than the donations I already give.

  • Shabri says:

    This has to stop !! This is insane & inhumane !!

  • april says:

    Pleaseplease help stop the suffering & tortuer of any animal….the people who r doing this have major mental problems. I dont think any of them would want this treatment of **** done to them or anyone in there family.

  • Marian Lippai says:

    Please stop the cruelty! It is very hard to watch these videos! It is hard to see the suffering that we have caused! Why can’t we be more humane! Can’t you see how much they hurt! Can’t you see how much they suffer. Can’t you care??? How can you call yourself a human being, when you can’t feel compassion that is God given! Shame is all that comes to my mind! One day I do believe that we will have to answwer for these atrocities to a higher power. Just Stop! Marian Lippai

  • mimi says:

    This is another reason why I respect animals more than “humans”!!! ********!!!!!!!

  • Melissa Hopkins says:

    I am so upset by this, I want to be able to stop this from happening immediately. How can this be allowed to go on!

  • mmmpork says:

    We are going to eat them anyway…

  • shell says:

    Horrific! This must stop!!!!

  • Stephanie allen says:

    Ive recently turned vegetarian and i can honestly say NEVER in my life will i stick another piece of meat in my mouth!! This is absurd, disgusting and just plain wrong! I feel horrified that people could treat animals like that!

  • Janine says:

    The law to prevent footage being made in these sort of places needs to be thrown out! We need these people to carry on doing this or the poor animals will carry on being treated despicably. I cannot watch these videos but I totally understand the picture. People no longer take pride in their work and to hurt or torture an animals shows what the human race has become! DISGUSTING!! PETA this needs to stop.

  • Raeanna Sam says:

    This made cry and gasp in horror. It makes me sick when people are proud to toss around a slab of pork on the bbq. How people – how humans – can treat animals like this is absolutely beyond humane comprehension. I am vegan and NEVER will I EVER go back. I would rather starve then eat meat.

  • Luke says:

    what vile excuses for human beings condone these actions, let alone carry it out? What excuse could you possibly use to treat ANY creature that way?!?

  • Teresa Echeverría says:

    treat them with hatred; then eat that hatred; eventually get cancer or similar deseases… then, I think… What do we have to do?

  • Erv Server says:

    I live in Iowa and the law makers are in bed with pork producers who not only abuse animals are also polluting the states water

  • AP says:

    When will this stop….it eats my heart out to see animals being treated so cruel. Man can be so evil. Whoever inflicts such pain and cruelty on defenseless animals deserves the same treatment .Who can eat meat after seeing this is beyond me. Praying for you.

  • Pia Gerber says:


  • susan shapouri says:

    I will do anything I can to stay out of your hideous state and away from pork!

  • Rat King says:

    Inhumane treatment of animals can never be hidden! The truth shall always be a shining light through organizations like Peta, Humane Society, Mercy for animals and every upright person shall never shut up when it comes to speak for the voiceless brothers of the animal kingdom! And like this it shall always be until the highest goal shall be reached: full respect towards every living creature, giving them the right to live in order to enjoy their life!

  • Lori Huotari says:

    enough is enough isnt it bad enough that we take their lives but do we have to take there protection too. if your companies feel that what you are doing is ok then why push so hard to get ag gag – hmm lets really think about this. when did compassion and care leave this world. bad enough we eat them cant we at elast treat them with diginity and care after all with out them all of YOU meat eating monsters would go hungry

  • Brian Reynolds says:

    We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals

  • galpal says:

    Any company and/or any person who is capable of treating a living creature as depicted in this video should be held to prosecution. I would love to see how “bouncy” the broad in this video would be if she were treated in this manner. It’s totally despicable! It’s sickening! It’s cruel. It’s heartless and it’s unnecessary……..unless you’re a sadistic type of person who enjoys inflicting pain on another living creature………AND, if it DOESN’T bother you to participate in this cruelty or watch this cruelty, there is definitely something wrong with YOU! It wouldn’t bother me one bit to see the people capable of doing this to animals have the SAME treatment performed on THEM. No one deserves it more! And, AFTER you’ve been treated in this manner, tell me how much you enjoyed the pain and suffering!!!

  • nancy hayes says: