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NC law protecting factory farms from lawsuits covered in depth on Democracy Now 

May 14, 2017 Leave a comment

A shocking development for animals, people and the environment in North Carolina, has garnered shockingly little coverage, except on Democracy Now. On May 3 the Democracy Now TV show aired a story titled, “North Carolina Hog Farms Spray Manure Around Black Communities; Residents Fight Back,” with the related May 4 Podcast and blog being titled, “In North Carolina, Pigs Don’t Fly but Their Feces Do.” 
We learned:

“Last week, North Carolina lawmakers passed House Bill 467, which limits the damages that residents could collect against hog farms. The billion-dollar industry is primarily clustered in the eastern part of the state, where hog farms collect billions of gallons of untreated pig feces and urine in what are essentially cesspools, then dispose of the waste by spraying it into the air. Residents living in the area of the spray complain of adverse health effects and odor so bad that it limits their ability to be outdoors.”

The blog and podcast note that in the cesspools the feces and urine are “mixed with blood and rotting pig body parts” and it points to “an array of illnesses” suffered by neighbors. 

We hear that “people of color, low-income people bear the brunt of these practices.” 

In a Democracy Now May 8 headline we learned that the North Carolina governor had vetoed the bill, but then on May 11 we were told that the House had overridden the governor’s veto, with the bill headed back to the senate.

Sadly, though it seems that Democracy Now has not yet noted it, the Senate also overrode the veto, so the bill is law, protecting the factory farming industry in North Carolina. 

The Democracy Now coverage is human-centric — it barely mentions animals. Yet we see images, over and over, of pigs crammed together or isolated in small individual crates, on factory farms. And I suspect the prominent captions on those images, noting that the video is provided by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society of the United States, is likely to remind viewers that it is not only people who suffer as the factory farms are protected. 

You can watch Democracy’s now original, May 3 coverage at http://tinyurl.com/n43j3fs , and the following link, pointing to a site search, will bring up all four pieces of coverage — the TV story, the blog, and the headline updates: http://tinyurl.com/lp6n7dx

Please thank Democracy Now for the in depth coverage, and especially for including the video that shows the pigs on those farms. And please encourage the show to follow up. Viewer interest will drive further coverage. Democracy now takes comments at https://www.democracynow.org/contact

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