Why Iowa Wants to Make Farm Photos Illegal
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