Protect Your Right to Know About Factory Farm Abuses in New Hampshire
Please scroll down to send your NH state legislators a letter asking them to oppose the new ag gag bill.
On January 3, 2013, Rep. Robert H. Haefner (R-Hillsborough 37) introduced House Bill 110, an "ag gag" bill, aimed at preventing journalists, activists and employees from conducting investigations into animal cruelty, worker abuses, environmental protection violations and food safety problems at factory farms. The bill's sole purpose is to prevent the public from learning what goes on at factory farms.
Don't let New Hampshire legislators make it a crime to expose the horrors of factory farming! Please sign the letter below asking NH state legislators to oppose HB 110.
HB 110 is a seven-line bill that requires people who photograph or make video recordings of cruelty against animals to report the incident to police within 24 hours and turn over their unedited video or photos to authorities. Proponents of HB 110 claim that the bill is intended to protect farm animals by requiring immediate reporting, so the abuse can be stopped.
But that's deceptive. Lawmakers know that in order for anyone to prove a pattern of abuse in factory farms, they must document repeated instances of cruelty. A video or photograph of only one instance will be dismissed as a one-time anomaly, which will get the agribusiness company off the hook.
You can help prevent this law from passing!
Last year, lawmakers in 10 states proposed ag-gag laws. Only three of the laws passed. Consumers and animal welfare activists prevented ag-gag laws from passing in the seven other states by creating a public outcry that force legislators to vote against the bills.
New Hampshire's ag-gag legislation is opposed by the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union. Nationally, 71% of voters oppose ag-gag laws, according to a poll by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Please sign the letter below today and forward it to as many people as possible!
Why ag-gag laws are dangerous to animals, humans and the environment
- Animal Welfare. Ag-gag laws are a direct threat to animal welfare. We know that animals are often cruelly treated in factory farms and slaughterhouses. Documentation of this treatment not only helps educate the public about farm animal abuse, but also influences industry and government entities to make real changes for farm animals.
- Food Safety. Ag-gag laws threaten our food supply: Various exposés of factory farms and slaughterhouses have revealed the extent to which our meat, eggs and milk are mishandled. Mishandling animal products, including mishandling farm animals while they are alive, invites health risks including salmonella, mad cow disease and other potentially fatal illnesses that may be transmitted to consumers.
- Control over Food Choices. Ag-gag laws are a direct threat to marketplace transparency. At a time when Americans are increasingly invested in knowing more about where their food comes from and how it is made, these laws threaten our ability to control what we bring into our homes and the food we put in our bodies. All Americans should have the right to know the basic conditions under which their food is produced.
- Workers' Rights. This legislation often seeks to criminalize the recording of sounds or images in animal facilities, no matter the content. Factory farms, slaughterhouses and meatpacking facilities are physically and emotionally difficult places to work. Farm investigations have the potential to expose serious worker abuse and other illegal or unethical conduct on the part of employees or supervisors.
- Free Speech. Some ag-gag bills seek not just to criminalize recording, but even the possession and distribution of images recorded on animal facilities—and some seek to criminalize misrepresenting oneself on job applications (which, while possibly an act warranting termination of employment, should generally not be a crime). These provisions pose serious First Amendment threats.
- Environmental Damage. In the United States, 99 percent of food animals are raised in factory farms, where large numbers of animals are housed together, generally in close confinement. Huge amounts of waste are generated, the improper storage and disposal of which threatens our soil and water. While state and federal laws require large farms to minimize their environmental damage, farms have been found flagrantly violating these requirements. Undercover investigations offer an effective way to expose such violations.
Please sign the letter below to your NH state legislators urging them to oppose HB 110. Thank you!