Despite failing repeatedly in the past to pass legislation that would suppress whistleblowers exposing cruelty to animals, lawmakers in Arkansas are back with another ag gag bill ( (HB 1665/SB 751) that's already progressing through the legislature.
In this case, concerns have been raised that not only will it shield egregious animal cruelty on farms, but that it's so broad it could potentially criminalize people trying to expose child abuse in daycares, food safety issues in restaurants and environmental pollution, among other issues.
In addition to allowing the horrors that farm animals endure to go on in secrecy, this type of legislation also threatens food safety, workers' rights and free speech. It is a shame to see Arkansas working to protect industries that have something to hide at the expense of animal welfare, the public and the First Amendment.
Please sign and share this petition urging lawmakers in Arkansas not to support any type of legislation that would suppress whistleblowers.
As someone who is concerned with animal welfare, the environment, food safety and workers' rights I was disappointed to learn that Arkansas is again considering legislation aimed at silencing whistleblowers.
This legislation would make it illegal to take video and audio recordings at farms and slaughterhouses, and other private businesses. The fact that it doesn't specifically target agricultural operations only makes it even more disturbing.
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. In some cases they have even resulted in criminal charges and new laws.
In addition to allowing the horrors that farm animals endure to go on in secrecy, this type of legislation also threatens food safety, workers' rights and free speech. It is a shame to see Arkansas working to protect an industry that has something to hide at the expense of animal welfare, the public, employees and the First Amendment.
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 all industries.