Industrial agriculture is continuing the tactic of introducing anti-whistleblower legislation to prevent the investigation and exposure of cruel conditions endured by farm animals on factory farms. These bills, referred to as “ag-gag” bills, had already passed in five states prior to the 2013 legislation session. This year, nine more states introduced legislation to criminalize the methods used by animal, environmental and food safety advocates— such as the taking of photographs and videotape—to expose the realities of factory farming. More of these detrimental bills may be coming later this year.
Bills introduced in New Hampshire, New Mexico and Wyoming have thus far stalled, while bills in a few other states (Arkansas, Indiana, and Tennessee) remain active at press time. AWI has joined a broad coalition of interest groups—including animal protection, civil liberties, consumer rights, and environmental organizations—that was formed with the intent of keeping additional whistleblower-suppression laws off the books.