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Lawmakers just won't give up when it comes to trying to silence whistleblowers, but this time they've stooped to a new low by sneaking an ag gag provision into a bill that was intended to improve animal welfare in kentucky.
Earlier this year Rep. Joni Jenkins introduced a bill (HB 222) that was intended to help animals by banning gas chambers and setting other euthanasia standards for shelters in the state, which would have been a win for animals.
Unfortunately, after it was passed through the House, the Senate Agricultural Committee stealthily added an ag gag provision that's intended to silence those who expose cruelty to animals on farms by making it illegal to take video or sound recordings on farms.
Lawmakers shouldn't be supporting legislation that will shield agribusinesses and animal enterprises from accountability, while simultaneously attempting to punish those who bring cruelty and inhumane treatment to light.
Please sign the petition asking Kentucky lawmakers not to support this bill as it is written.
As someone who is concerned about animal welfare, I was beyond disappointed to learn that a provision intended to silence whistleblowers was stealthily added to a bill that was intended to improve animal welfare in Kentucky.
The original bill introduced by Rep. Joni Jenkins, HB 222, was intended to help animals by banning gas chambers and setting other euthanasia standards for shelters in the state.
Sadly, the provision that was added will silence whistleblowers who aim to expose animal cruelty at agricultural operations.
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, new policies and laws and the closure of unethical facilities.
In addition to allowing the horrors that farm animals endure to go on in secrecy, ag gag bills also threaten food safety, workers' rights and free speech. It is a shame to see Kentucky working to protect an industry that has something to hide at the expense of animal welfare, consumers and the First Amendment.
I sincerely hope you will stand up for both consumers and animals in Kentucky by rejecting this bill as it is written.