The New York “ag-gag” bill S 5172, designed to deter meth addicts from stealing anhydrous ammonia overdosed on reason and died today on the senate floor. Maybe the New York state representatives realized that the majority of meth labs in this country have been outsourced to Mexico.
Or maybe they realized that anhydrous ammonia is primarily used for plant/ soil fertilization and since factory farmed animals are not pasture raised, animal farmers probably don’t have that much NH3 lying around anymore.
Either way, the bill which was intended to shut down undercover investigations, remained in the third stage on the senate floor as of June 7 and did not progress any further. The Animal Law Coalition stated that if the bill passed it would have trampled First Amendment protections with overbroad “crimes” with harsh sentences. Further, the bill would chill First Amendment activities, making advocates fearful of organizing protests, let alone undertaking investigations to expose and stop animal cruelty. The ASPCA claimed that the passage of this bill would criminalize taking a photograph of a farmed animal without the farm owner’s written consent. Animal advocate, Rachel Berardinelli describes the bill as plainly lumping together illegal trespassers with those who are merely exercising their First Amendment rights.
Photojournalism and similar investigations are crucial to understanding how food is produced from animals. Without an accurate understanding of what happens in these facilities to animals, the public has no real basis to make informed decisions about animal cruelty laws, acceptable farming practices, and their own cruelty free food choices.
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal law Tagged: | ag-gag, anhydrous ammonia, animal advocacy, animal ethics, animal law, animal welfare, ASPCA, CAFOS, Constitutional Law, environmental ethics, factory farms, farmed animals, First Amendment, industrial farming, meth labs, New York, photojournalism