“Apart from the obvious ethical concerns, Ag-Gag laws also threaten public health and the environment, and undermine workers’ rights and free speech laws. Undercover investigations at factory farms have exposed the mishandling of meat, eggs and milk in ways that could potentially lead to health risks including mad cow disease, salmonella, e-coli and others. One investigation in Chino, Calif., revealed widespread mistreatment of “downed” cows – cows that are too sick or injured to walk. The facility is the second-largest supplier of beef to USDA’s Commodity Procurement Branch, which distributes the beef to the National School Lunch Program.”
I believe that the evidence supplied beyond the claim that Ag-Gag laws threaten public health and the environment, does not quite add up to such a conclusion. Is it not true that some of these laws possibly protect the environment around the factories of interest? Breaking into these facilities can very well cause damage to containment functions in the heated process of uncovering injustice. It seems to me that the argument for environmental protection and public health is equal on both sides, and there for is insufficient.
“Factory farmed animals are constantly mistreated and abused. Without undercover investigations, illegal animal cruelty will resume and farmed animals will continue to suffer a brutal reality.”
This is simply not true because it claims that the sole way to improve conditions for abused animals is through undercover investigations. While it is true that it is indeed a way, and apparently a good way, of achieving the goal of exposing animal abuse, it is not the only way. For instance, everyone knows of mistreat of animals, and most people simply don’t care. When we see these videos it’s really just a reminder of what we know is going on. Why should it take guilt and reinforcement like that to end inhumane practices? Perhaps it is wishful thinking, but I think individual humans have to realize these things on their own, without being guilted, to really want to do anything about it.
“By allowing the state government to define the terms of eco-terror, the government has the ability to attach significant penalties to those who have joined the extremist movements and enhance their ability to act out with violence.”
This very well may be true in certain liberal states, but in the example states where ad-gag has already been implemented, such as Iowa and Utah, it seems that these laws do not have this intended outcome. While the language here is clearly biased towards the supportive side, demonizing anyone who would seek to expose animal rights as extremists, it’s also important to note that their attempts to expose violence, is being coined as “violence” by Ad-Gag supporters. More importantly, by allowing state governments to control these decisions, it is left to certain interest groups who have a large say in these states to make the ultimate decision. What if this said interest group is particular interested in meat or dairy business. Then they would use their influence to pass these laws, rather than consider the legality of the act.
“While ag gag laws may protect farmers and ranchers, such laws may also send a signal to consumers that we are trying to hide something. However, we know activists are misrepresenting themselves in applying for jobs on farms, hoping to surreptitiously record incidents on the farm that can be used to their advantage.”
This seems like a paranoid claim on the part of the author, though regardless of its supposed validity, the claim is not enough to outweigh the protection of animal rights. The fact that animals cannot defend themselves, means there needs to be complete transparency between the corporations and the consumers. Any attempt to prevent these measures from being enacted cannot be justified through animal activists applying for jobs in an attempt to expose such abuse. It does not seem to add up to the claim.