New Ag Gag Law In Idaho Protects Animal Cruelty, Restricts Activism

cows farm
cows farm
PHOTO CREDIT: Charlie Litchfield/AP

Many of the hideous ways in which animals are treated, including the factory farming practices which a Chipotle commercial recently outlined, are now going to be ceremoniously sweeped under the rug again, especially so in Idaho. Thanks to a new bill signed into law by Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter just recently, filming on agricultural and dairy farms will now be illegal. Animal rights activists are calling this new anti-whistle blowing legislation the ‘ag gag’ bill. In other words, activists will be punished for exposing animal cruelty.

The bill was created in response to abuses, which were filmed undercover on one of Idaho’s largest dairy operations two years ago. Activists are rightfully concerned that this will make it difficult to expose wrongdoing in the future – by an industry that looks at the bottom line well before the well-being of its livestock. Agricultural representatives applauded when it passed in the Senate earlier in February.

Matt Rice, the director of investigations at Mercy for Animals says:

“Gov. Otter has decided to keep corrupt factory farming practices from the public. He’s created a safe haven for animal abuse. These are facilities that supply food to the entire country. No other industry has this kind of immunity.”

Offenders of the new law can find themselves in prison for up to an entire year as well as paying steep fines, of $5000 for secretly entering a possible animal-abuse site and filming or recording in any way. The new law also criminalizes falsifying documents like a resume in order to get hired on a farm to go ‘undercover.’

Bob Naerebout, director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association is very pleased the bill has passed, and says the bill is misreperesented by animal right groups.

This comes at a time when Big Ag has been found guilty of numerous atrocities toward animals, as well as human beings alike. RGBH (Monsanto’s bovein growth hormone), for example, was supposedly ‘safe,’ but caused cancer in people and caused cow’s udders to become so infected they were swollen with pus. Pigs are often raised and transported in square footage so small that they can’t even turn around. Baby lambs are castrated with pliers – no pain killers, and no humanity. The list goes on.

Of course factory farmers don’t want us to see inside their fences. Most of us wouldn’t be able to stomach what goes on in there.