Animal rights activists fighting “Ag-Gag” laws


"Ag-gag," or "agricultural gag" laws, as they are nicknamed, are proposed ways of making it illegal for whistleblowers to observe and report acts of animal abuse at slaughterhouses and factory farms throughout the U.S. - essentially depriving the public of their right to know about such torture. Now, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is fighting back.

The ALDF is a non-profit organization focusing on the interests of animals in legal matters.

Forms of torture such as skinning calves alive, forcing badly injured animals (sometimes incapable of walking) into a slaughter line, and other horrendous acts are only made public because undercover activists document them (by reporting, taking videos, etc). Under ag-gag laws, that would no longer be possible.

In opposition to such a threat, the ALDF has proposed potential legislation of its own, called the "Safeguarding the Public from Food-Borne Illnesses Act." Such a law would attempt to ensure that "your state government and counties will stop purchasing potentially unsafe food products from any jurisdiction with an ag-gag law."

Several states have already implemented so-called ag-gags. Criminal codes in Iowa and Utah threaten jail time for anyone caught taking undercover photos or videos (without explicit approval) in slaughterhouses and farming facilities. In North Dakota, such undercover activity is prohibited altogether. Kansas and Montana have similar laws in place.

ALDF has currently established a petition, and is actively utilizing social networks to inform and organize activists.

Cody Carlson, a former investigator for the Humane Society of the United States, remarked, "The ag-gag laws pretend to be about preventing fraud, but they actually perpetuate it. They protect a system where consumers are regularly deceived into supporting egregious animal suffering, deplorable working conditions, and environmental degradation."

Photo: Animals such as these are frequently subjected to torturous conditions, which are impossible to expose without the ability of animal rights activists to conduct undercover documentation. The Humane Society of the United States/AP Photos

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  • As a civilized nation we must stop the torture of helpless and innocent animals. They deserve to be cared for free of abuse. Go Vegan and end their suffering.

    Posted by Tricia Glynn, 05/31/2012 8:49am (3 years ago)

  • This is a lousy job to be doing. Animals are being used and abused like everything else in this world.

    Posted by Larry and Patricia Kelly, 05/31/2012 8:46am (3 years ago)

  • The brave and selfless activists who take this footage deserve a medal, the only way the general public and the authorities are made aware of the atrocities that are happening inside factory farms and abattoirs etc is by viewing the footage. If you are prepared to introduce ag-gag laws then I can only conclude that you wish for the torture of animals to continue unabated and with your blessing.

    Posted by jodie bradshaw, 05/03/2012 10:30pm (3 years ago)

  • Ag-gags laws are not only yet another threat to animal welfare, they are also quintessentially anti-democratic.

    Posted by Camille Le Roes, 05/03/2012 3:18pm (3 years ago)

  • So what are the slaughterhouses afraid of?? If they run the killing stations in an acceptable humane manner they should have nothing to hide?? Only sick, sadistic psychopaths could torture animals volutarily! In which case they need identifying and locking up for the protection of normal human beings!

    Posted by Judith Moore, 05/03/2012 2:13pm (3 years ago)

  • Hello,

    I would love to support your campaign by signing the Ag Gag petition. However, it seems that you have to live in the US to be able to sign (US Zip Code seems to be mandatory). I am sure there are many people like me living in other parts of the world who would be delighted to show their support.

    Can you change the petition site so that non US citizens can sign?

    Many thanks,


    Posted by sharon boast, 05/03/2012 1:17pm (3 years ago)

  • Go ALDF! What a great idea! Animal torturers are not the only ones who can get laws passed, if compassionate people organize and hold their elected officials accountable.

    Posted by Daniel, 04/21/2012 4:09pm (3 years ago)

  • GO VEGAN!!

    Posted by Nicholas James, 04/20/2012 2:07pm (3 years ago)

  • If you only knew the Chemicals given to chickens you would not eat them. Besides the slaughter procedures one needs to know the chemicals being used in all animals to enhance their weights.
    Now we have to be submitted to animals from foreign countries. There is no telling what is happening in those uncontrolled environments.

    Posted by SwampFox, 04/19/2012 9:15pm (3 years ago)

  • Its not just gag rules the big agra corps are pull off checkout the above link to the meatrix!

    Posted by Paul Valley, 04/19/2012 2:53am (3 years ago)

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