(ANIMAL ABUSE/FACTORY FARMING) Idaho passed a new ag-gag law this past week that will limit animal advocates’ from exposing factory farm cruelty.

Governor Otter passed a law that restricts animal activists from filming animal abuse in Idaho. (ANIMAL ABUSE/AG=GAG LAWS)
Idaho’s new Ag Gag law puts its dairy cows and other farm animals at risk of abuse. Photo Credit: Associated Press (ANIMAL ABUSE/AG-GAG LAWS)

The new law, signed on Friday by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter makes it illegal to secretly film animal abuse on Idaho farms. The punishment includes jail time and a fine of $5,000.

The legislation was passed after the exposure of animal abuse on a Idaho dairy farm in 2012 by the animal rights organization, Mercy For Animals.

Workers at Bettencourt Dairy were caught on video abusing cows and one worker was subsequently prosecuted for the abuse. However, this law will make it illegal to expose animal abuse on farms in the future.

“My signature today reflects my confidence in their desire to responsibly act in the best interest of the animals on which that livelihood depends,” the Governor said.

“No animals rights organization cares more or has more at stake than Idaho farmers and ranchers do in ensuring that their animals are healthy, well-treated and productive.”

(ANIMAL ABUSE/AG-GAG LAWS) Mercy For Animals Protests against law that allows animal abuse.
Despite protests from animal rights organizations, Idaho Governor Otter banned the secret filming of animal abuse. Photo Credit: thecontributor.com (ANIMAL ABUSE/AG-GAG LAWS)

But animal rights organizations are not convinced the treatment of animals by the farm industry should be kept secret from the public.

“Mercy For Animals is exploring all legal avenues to overturn this dangerous, unconstitutional, and un-American law…This is a sad day for animals, consumers, the constitution, and the media,” Nathan Runkle of Mercy For Animals said.

“Idaho’s flawed and misdirected new law will now throw shut the doors to industrial factory farms and allow animal abuse, environmental violations, and food contamination to flourish undetected, unchallenged, and unaddressed,” he continued.

Idaho joins Utah and Iowa in enacting legislation that curtails the uncovering of farm animal abuse and allowing the public to know exactly where their food is coming from.

Contact Governor Otter today to voice your concern over this new law!

— Elana Pisani, exclusive to Global Animal