Nebraska: Don't Criminalize Animal Cruelty Whistleblowers

Nebraska lawmakers are back with another ag gag bill that aims to silence those who attempt to expose cruelty to animals.

LB 204 would make it illegal to "interfere" with an agricultural operation and shut down investigations by imposing a time limit to turn over evidence to law enforcement. The 24-hour reporting requirement will have a particularly harmful effect by ensuring that no patterns of abuse can be established.

Undercover investigations have played an important role in exposing not only egregious abuse and unsanitary living conditions that farm animals are forced to endure, but have also drawn attention to standard industry practices that don’t fit into the mainstream idea of humane treatment of animals and in some cases have resulted in criminal charges and new laws.

The state of Nebraska should not consider protecting an industry that has something to hide at the expense of animal welfare, its residents, consumer safety and the First Amendment.

Please sign the petition urging Nebraska's lawmakers to support transparency in agriculture and stop attempting to pass whistleblower suppression legislation.

As someone who cares about animal welfare and consumer safety, I was outraged to learn that Nebraska lawmakers are back at it with another attempt to pass legislation aimed at silencing those who work to expose animal cruelty.

HB 2587 would criminalize the actions of individuals who document abuse at agriculture operations and shut down investigations by imposing a time limit on turning over evidence to law enforcement. The reporting requirement will have a particularly harmful effect by ensuring that no patterns of abuse can be established.

Undercover investigations have played an important role in exposing not only egregious abuse and unsanitary living conditions that farm animals are forced to endure, but have also drawn attention to standard industry practices that don’t fit into the mainstream idea of humane treatment of animals and in some cases have resulted in criminal charges and new laws.

I sincerely hope you will not allow this bill to pass in any form and will instead stand up for animal welfare, consumer safety and the public's right to know by supporting transparency in agriculture.

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