“Ag-Gag” is Back and Worse Than Ever (Mercy For Animals)
Originally published by Mercy For Animals
March 13th, 2017
by Cody Carlson
The original ag-gag bills were meant to criminalize undercover investigators and others who expose animal abuse on factory farms. But those bills faced massive public outcry, and ultimately only five were enacted out of dozens of attempts. Of those five, one has already been overturned as an unconstitutional restriction on MFA and other animal protection groups’ freedom of speech.
That should have been the last we heard of new ag-gag bills, but Arkansas’s HB 1665 takes this dangerous precedent to a new level. The bill would not only let factory farmers sue undercover investigators, but would let nearly any business sue workers, customers, or journalists who expose illegal or unethical workplace activity.
The potential harms are limitless. Daycare employees who speak out about child abuse, workers at food processing plants who blow the whistle on unsafe working conditions and food safety violations, and financial professionals who come forward with evidence of fraud and insider trading could all be put on the hook for their employer’s financial losses. Even worse, these brave individuals could be intimidated into silence.
This is a blanket attack on the people of Arkansas’s right to speak out about important social issues. MFA condemns this un-American and unconstitutional bill in the strongest possible terms.
If you live in Arkansas, click here to tell your lawmakers to vote no on HB 1665, the ag-gag bill.
No matter where you live, you can take a stand against factory farm corruption by refusing to pay for it. Please click here to learn how to move toward a compassionate plant-based diet.