Elisabeth Torres, Global Animal
Iowa has passed a bill banning undercover filming on farms, and now Utah is looking to pass a similar bill. Mercy for Animals, PETA, and the ASPCA farm animal welfare program have all publicly opposed House Bill 187, nicknamed the “ag gag” bill, with help from celebrities such as Katherine Heigl. On PETA’s behalf, Heigl wrote a letter to each member of Utah’s House of Representatives:
“My husband and I married in Utah, and I’ve been proud to call the state home for the last couple of years. … This bill makes our state’s agricultural community seem desperate to hide illegal and inhumane treatment of animals from the public. As animals cannot defend themselves, the public must maintain its right to document illegal cruel practices in order to alert law enforcement to its existence. … I hope that legislators in Utah recognize that they need to work to prevent cruelty to animals by strengthening laws, not penalizing those who are trying to expose this cruelty.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Bills like this are not only a threat to animals, but to public health. Everyone trying to report a wrong doing or food safety violation would be made a criminal and silenced. According to the ASPCA, “Undercover farm investigations have also led to the disclosure of crucial health and welfare information and many groundbreaking reforms, including a ban on cruel confinement systems in California, the closure of a massive slaughterhouse that was shipping meat from sick animals to public schools, and the development of humane slaughter protocols.”
Undercover videos released earlier this year by Mercy For Animals, brought to light the animal abuse and torture happening at the Butterball turkey raising facility and Sparboe Farms. Without these videos, many would still be in the dark about the animal abuse and unsanitary conditions at these factory farms.
According to PETA, similar bills were shot down last year in Florida, Minnesota, and New York. The Utah senate has until March 8 to pass the bill. To follow Heigl’s lead and protest, click the Take Action mouse below.
More on the Ag Gag and why it chokes animal welfare: