While every state has laws to protect animals, farm animals are often left out of the picture. Most anti-cruelty laws exclude "normal" practices in the farm industry -- no matter how painful -- so the industry can continue making money. And federally, there's not a single law on the books that protects "animals when they're on a farm." This means that horrific practices, like removing calves' horns without pain relief, are completely legal!
Sign the petition to tell Congress to protect innocent, defenseless farm animals!
Although the best way to stop these painful practices would be to publicly expose them, like this brave investigator did, "ag-gag" laws make that difficult. Typically, ag-gag laws make it a crime to do things like secretly film factory farms or slaughterhouses. In the agricultural industry, a rich and politically influential colossus, this leaves thousands of animals in terrifying danger across the US.
Currently, ag-gag laws are totally legal in 6 states. What we really need to make legal is exposing unnecessary cruelty. Sign the petition to urge Congress to pass legislation banning ag-gag laws so we can expose animal cruelty on farms!
Thankfully, it seems like states are finally starting to question these laws. In Pennsylvania, an investigation exposed a dairy farm for dehorning calves without pain relief. While this is a common practice in the dairy industry, thanks to the video -- which showed calves having hot irons pressed to their head, burning through their flesh and horns as they writhed in pain -- the judge realized it was inhumane. Now, the district attorney must prosecute the farm for animal cruelty after he initially refused.
In Iowa, The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa ruled the state's second Ag-Gag law unconstitutional. This change was also launched thanks to a whistleblower documenting pigs being slowly cooked to death in a "depopulation" or culling event -- another common practice in the industry.
Often, these laws also prevent people from reporting workers' rights abuses, environmental offenses, and food safety violations. Filming these wrongdoings should not be a crime. If we want true accountability for a trillion dollar industry that controls the lives of billions of animals, as well as what goes on our plates, we need to give states transparency and legal avenues. Sign the petition to tell Congress to ban ag-gag laws to make farm animals safer!