More articles and editorials are streaming into the Pack News Wire every day on this topic of banning undercover video that exposes animal cruelty on factory farms. A number of state legislatures have taken steps to criminalize the act of photographing or shooting animal-cruelty video on farms.
In Utah, Rep. John Mathis has sponsored a bill to criminalize the use of hidden cameras on farms. The Daily Activists quotes him as comparing it to “a neighborhood watch group that goes into your home and hides cameras because you may one day do something to your kids.”
The comparison is full of holes. The factory farming industry has a history of mistreatment of animals. As farming in this manner has gone from family-owned businesses to massive operations where animals are crammed in by the thousands to meet the desired profit margins, abuse has been the trend.
The Daily Activist post also quotes Suzanne McMillan of the ASPCA as saying, “Bills like this only serve to heighten suspicion that the agricultural industry has something to hide.” – Exactly.
Iowa might be the first state to reach the milestone of legally protecting cruelty and hiding it in the shadows and at the same time turning those who want to expose cruelty into the criminals.
In response to the videos we’ve seen from factory farms, elected officials should be working overtime to increase penalties for animal cruelty and set up a better system of surprise inspections.
Animal welfare groups are urging Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to veto the bill. But the measure had such a huge vote disparity in both houses, this might not happen.
The Star Tribune quotes Nathan Runkle of Mercy for Animals as saying – “Iowa has some of the weakest animal cruelty laws in the nation. Lawmakers should be focusing on strengthening these pathetic laws, not silencing whistleblowers who expose animal abuse or other serious issues involving the safety and security of the American food supply.”
One farmer in the article suggests that using dramatic music can twist a video into making a bad impression. Really? An animal being severely beaten or bludgeoned on video, without music, is not so bad???? We have to keep reminding ourselves that people with no defense for their actions have to come up with something – no matter how nutty it is.