Bills in Iowa and Florida seek to protect those engaged in animal cruelty
Lawmakers in Iowa and Florida have introduced bills with a mission to stop the production of undercover videos where animal cruelty is shown.
But through the use of undercover video, we’ve gotten a look inside puppy mills and factory farms where animals are suffering severe abuse. Puppy millers and factory farms where the animals live a life of horror are loving these bills.
And the elected officials backing these bills are trying to protect these houses of horror.
“” Bradley Miller, national director of the Humane Farming Association, added, “Clearly the industry feels that it has something to hide or it wouldn’t be going to these extreme and absurd lengths.” “”
Exactly. This is a ‘we-don’t-want-to-get caught’ bill. Protecting crimes in an era when we should be protecting the innocent is an oddly callous path for lawmakers. But again, this is what happens when dollar signs fill the mindset of elected officials.
Some are claiming this is a trespassing issue or that people might misinterpret the images released in photos or videos. Nice try, but it’s really about protecting industries that engage in cruelty and put profit far above animal welfare.
There is a huge hole in the Florida bill, in my view. Check this exerpt included in the Food Safety News piece -
[a] person who photographs, video records, or otherwise produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture operations are being conducted without the written consent of the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits a felony of the first degree.
” … where legitimate agriculture operations are being conducted …” – Puppy mills and factory farms where animals are inhumanely treated are not “legitimate” operations. So I would content this bill would not apply to legitimate facilities. But that’s not where the bill sponsors are going.
Maybe I spilled the beans a little there. Now the bill sponsors will amend the text to read – “or even those operations that abuse animals.”
The Florida bill goes on to define a farm as “any tract of land cultivated for the purpose of agricultural production, the raising and breeding of domestic animals, or the storage of a commodity.” With this text, they wanted to make sure puppy mills are protected.
The Iowa House recently passed its ‘Protection of Cruelty Bill.’ (That’s my title of course.)
Again, from the Food Safety News – “” Supporters of the Iowa measure maintain that by banning the recording of sounds and images in animal facilities, it will encourage people to report abuses through the proper channels so violations can be handled effectively. “”
Right – then the factory farms and puppy mills can just claim those reporting the abuse have no proof.