Get this -- around the country "ag-gag" bills are being introduced that would prevent photos or video from being taken on farms. PETA has long thrived on these images for their anti-meat campaigns. Investigative journalists and documentary filmmakers have also used footage and images taken from farms to showcase to the public the sometimes troubling story of where their food comes from. If the bills pass, photographers could face jail time. A bit of a shocker, isn't it?
Last week, the issue came to a head in Florida with SB 1246.
The bill was first introduced by Florida State Senator Jim Norman and
proposed making it a first-degree felony to take a photograph of a farm
without express written permission from the owner. Legislators defeated the bill, but similar anti-whistleblower bills are still pending in Iowa and Minnesota. For the bill voting record
and the text of the bill, click here.
Supporters of the bill say it is needed to protect farmers' property rights as well as "intellectual property" involving farm operations.
Granted, videos like the one from PETA below are a total horror show. Literally, nightmare-inducing. However, it's also a bit bewildering to imagine a country that punishes the people willing to see and record first-hand accounts of what goes on on some farms. Rather criminal, you might say.
WARNING: The video below is graphic and might be disturbing to young viewers, animal-lovers, or meat enthusiasts.
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For more on anti-whistleblowing "ag-gag" bills, click here.