Home > Animal Rights > NY Times front page on ag-gag laws that make taping the crime

NY Times front page on ag-gag laws that make taping the crime

December 12, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Before I share today’s important New York Times front page story on the ag-gag laws, I wanted to mention something about DawnWatch:

You have surely noticed how relatively infrequent the alerts have become as I have been focused on other work. Yet I am active on both Facebook and Twitter, posting articles there many times per week. If you miss the frequency of DawnWatch alerts, please consider following me on one of those social media sites.

You’ll find me on Twitter under my name, Karen Dawn, or my handle, Monkeythanker:
http://twitter.com/monkeythanker

On Facebook you can “follow me” on my personal page — I have reached my friend number limit so I can’t accept new friend requests but my followers see everything I post and they can comment and we can discuss — it isn’t all that different from being “friends.” Warning: If you follow my personal page on Facebook you will see not only my animal advocacy stuff but also personal updates about what Paula Pitbull and I might up to, or movies or books I have loved, or updates on issues not directly related to animal rights. It is at https://www.facebook.com/karen.dawn.9

If you prefer to only receive information directly related to animal advocacy and veganism, you might wish, instead, to “like” my Facebook Thanking the Monkey page. On that page you are also welcome to post your own animal advocacy alerts. It is at
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Dawn-Thanking-the-Monkey/25347215527
OR http://tinyurl.com/c7rjako

I do intend to continue to send DawnWatch alerts via email from time to time — like when there is a Sunday New York Times front page story on a vital issue! But I wanted to make sure people had options for more frequent updates.

Now to that front page story!  It is on the cover of the Sunday, April 7, New York Times, titled, “Videos Show Cruelty on Farm and Taping Becomes the Crime.” And it is on the web, titled similarly, as “Taping of Farm Cruelty Is Becoming the Crime” at
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/us/taping-of-farm-cruelty-is-becoming-the-crime.html

With both the front page story and web article we see a photo of sows in gestation crates, which most Dawnwatch subscribers know are individual cages that do not provide enough room for a pig to turn around, or even comfortably lie down; each intelligent animal spends much of her life staring straight ahead or biting fruitlessly at the bars, going insane from both mental and physical distress.

Reporter Richard A. Oppel Jr. opens the article by describing some effective undercover animal cruelty investigations that have led to prosecutions of the abusers. Then he writes:

“But a dozen or so state legislatures have had a different reaction: They proposed or enacted bills that would make it illegal to covertly videotape livestock farms, or apply for a job at one without disclosing ties to animal rights groups. They have also drafted measures to require such videos to be given to the authorities almost immediately, which activists say would thwart any meaningful undercover investigation of large factory farms.

“Critics call them ‘Ag-Gag’ bills.”

He describes the work of the “American Legislative Exchange Council”, which has created a bill called “The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act.” It prohibits filming or taking pictures on livestock farms to “defame the facility or its owner.”

Oppel notes:
“Violators would be placed on a ‘terrorist registry.'”

The article points to first amendment issues inherent in the various ag-gal bills, and the chilling effect we can expect from the threat of punishment for whistle blowers.

Please check the article out at http://tinyurl.com/d7hlpzz, and share it widely. Then why not send a letter to the editor? You can comment directly on the ag-gag laws or use the article as a basis for whatever point you wish to make about our treatment of other species or the need to move towards plant-based diets.

The New York Times takes letters at letters@nytimes.com

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