North Carolina: Don't Protect Animal Abusers by Criminalizing Whistleblowers

The legislation in this petition has failed, but lawmakers are back trying to push through another version they're calling the Property Protection Act (SB433/HB405), which would make it illegal to take audio or visual recordings at farms or slaughterhouses. Please keep speaking up for farm animals by sharing this petition!

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North Carolina lawmakers are still considering an ag gag bill that would ban taking photos at a place of employment, make it a crime for anyone to make false statements on a job application and add a 24 hour reporting requirement, that would hinder investigators' ability to prove patterns of abuse over time.

This time, lawmakers are claiming its not an ag gag law because it doesn't specifically target agricultural operations, but the fact that it includes all industries only makes it even more dangerous.

Many believe it was introduced in response to undercover investigations exposing cruelty to birds at Butterball facilities conducted by Mercy for Animals in the state. A 2011 investigation resulted in a raid that led to animal cruelty charges, including the first-ever felony cruelty conviction involving birds used in food production, and the ousting of a top official from the state's Department of Agriculture over obstruction of justice charges.

Instead of holding companies accountable for their actions, lawmakers acted swiftly to ensure they would be protected from public scrutiny and the consequences of their actions.

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.

Yet another recently released investigation has showed the horrors baby turkeys face at Butterball hatcheries that are considered normal by industry standards.

North Carolina shouldn't be considering legislation that shield companies with something to hide at the expense of animal welfare, its residents, consumer safety and the First Amendment.

Please sign the petition asking North Carolina lawmakers not to support whistleblower suppression legislation that would affect any industry.

As someone who is concerned with animal welfare, food safety and workers' rights I was disappointed to learn that North Carolina is considering legislation aimed at silencing whistleblowers.

The Property Protection Act (SB433/HB405) would make it illegal to take video and audio recordings at farms and slaughterhouses. 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 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 all industries, including agriculture.

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