ACLU Attacks Ag Gag
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The American Civil Liberties Union has come out strong against the wave of unconstitutional ag-gag bills that have been introduced and passed in some states, asserting such laws are "flagrant violations of the First Amendment." The ACLU, a nonpartisan charity dedicated to defending the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, is encouraging Americans to "protect animals and free speech" by fighting the efforts of Big Ag to hide its cruel and often criminal practices from the public.

In a blog post spotlighted on the ACLU's home page, the organization states:

Taken together, these measures--which are law in six states, and have been introduced in 11 others--threaten to virtually eliminate undercover investigations into not just animal abuse, but labor practices, food safety, environmental pollution, and numerous other consumer and public welfare concerns. Worse, many ag-gag laws and bills are quite loose in their definition of agricultural operations, meaning they would cover not only factory farms and slaughterhouses, but even supermarkets and restaurants.

An ag-gag law that was enacted in Utah last year was recently cited to charge a woman for filming a slaughterhouse from the side of a public road. The mayor of Draper, Utah, who not so coincidentally owns the slaughterhouse, may have encouraged the charges, which were dropped following a massive public outcry. This shocking governmental overreach not only proves the intent of these laws is to keep the public from seeing how animals at factory farms and slaughterhouses are routinely abused, but it also prompted the Salt Lake Tribune to suggest federal inspectors take a look at this slaughter facility to determine what it is trying so desperately to hide.

While most of the ag-gag bills introduced in 2013 have been defeated, a bill pending in Tennessee is dangerously close to being signed into law by the governor. If you live in Tennessee, please contact Governor Haslam and ask him to veto Senate Bill 1248 and House Bill 1191. His office can be reached at 615-741-2001 and at bill.haslam@tn.gov.

And in Pennsylvania, an ag-gag bill was introduced yesterday that outlaws the dissemination of factory farm photos or video footage over the internet. This bill would make it a crime to upload and share videos like the one from MFA's 2009 investigation at Pennsylvania's Country View Family Farms, which shows workers throwing live piglets through the air, ripping out their testicles and cutting off their tails without painkillers, and confining thousands of pregnant pigs inside tiny metal gestation crates for nearly their entire lives.

If you live in Pennsylvania, please use this interactive map to find and contact your state legislators and urge them to reject Senate Bill 683.

What Else You Can Do to Help:

Expose Factory Farm Cruelty - Please share this video with as many people as you can and help expose the cruel and corrupt practices of factory farming industries.

Choose Vegetarian - Each time we eat, we can choose kindness over cruelty. Adopting a diet free of meat, dairy, and eggs is the single most powerful action you can take to prevent needless cruelty to farmed animals. Visit ChooseVeg.com for free recipes, tips on making the switch, and more.
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