Ag-gag laws hide those with something to hide

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If some states want to ban undercover video within the walls of factory farms, then replace it with something better. If abusers don’t want to be subjected to cameras operated by animal-welfare activists, then let’s put the cameras in the hands of inspectors – with a live feed – so that we can all see the results.

If there is nothing to hide, then let us all see the view from inside factory farms, on days when they don’t know the video inspection is coming. Let’s allow inspectors to go undercover to catch cases when no one thinks anyone will be watching.

What we’re hearing now – from elected officials and industry insiders – are attempts to hide these practices from the public’s view. This comes at a time when the welfare of the animals and the welfare of human health depends on a full exposure of sunlight.

The LA Times editorial board wrote this week about another attempt to gag those who want to expose any abuses on factory farms in California. The bill there would require anyone who records evidence of abuse turn that video or audio or photographs over to authorities within 48 hours.

What this really does is shut down any long-term collection of evidence.


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