As some of you may be aware, Iowa state plan to vote on two bills that if passed will make undercover video of animal abuse on farms illegal and punishable by a $7000 fine and up to 5 years in prison. This is insane. This is not only a breach of animal welfare rights but also human rights; these bills are effectively silencing freedom of speech. Fundamentally, these bills are more focused on protecting the farming and agriculture industry because they hold a huge economic impact. But what about our rights?
Surely this whole façade clearly demonstrates that there is a problem with the farming industry abusing animals. Animal rights activists document animal ABUSE. If there was no abuse then no doubt there would be fewer damning videos. Some of these farmers that have had video evidence of their animal abuse released have said these undercover videos are ‘underhanded’. It’s almost as if they are suggesting that it is the video recording that is immoral. Not the abuse.
“They’re trying to intimidate whistleblowers and put a chill on legitimate anti-cruelty investigations. Clearly the industry feels it has something to hide or it wouldn’t be going to these extreme and absurd lengths.” (Bradley Miller, national director of Humane Farming Association)
“They are trying to criminalise someone for being an eyewitness to a crime” (PETA)
Instead of tackling the issue first hand and putting a stop to this inhumane abuse of animals the industry seem to want to take the easy way out and ban people discovering what goes on behind closed doors. I see it only fitting to quote Gretchen Wyler here:
“We must not refuse with our eyes what they endure with their bodies”
And so the Iowa government must not be allowed to ban our eyes from seeing what’s behind the door.
*UPDATE* Apparently Florida are also proposing a similar bill with much harsher penalties: £10,000 fine and up to 30 years prison time! Pure insanity. Especially when these people are witnesses to crimes! Sadly it seems this is a growing trend. Hopefully it can be nipped in the bud before it gets out of hand. What’s next?