It’s no secret that animal rights groups have hours and hours of video in their arsenal of alleged animal cruelty that they could release at any time. The tapes could be decades old, and the perpetrators could be employees of the animal rights group, but regardless of when these are released, the clips depicting presumed animal abuse do serious damage to the livestock industry.
These videos are often used to prosecute and/or persecute farmers and ranchers -- even if the abuse wasn’t done by the individual. As a result, several states have passed “ag gag” laws, including North Dakota, Kansas, Montana, Missouri and Utah, with similar measures pending in nine other states. The laws require individuals who record cruelty toward farm animals to report the incident and turn in the evidence to law enforcement officials within 48 hours of the abuse.
Many say that agriculture has something to hide by pushing forward these laws, but in reality, it simply protects animals from prolonged abuse, and farmers and ranchers from being accused of something that may have been caught on tape years ago. This law helps to protect our nation’s food supply and offers a measure of protection to the individuals who own private livestock businesses.
In Tennessee, The Livestock Cruelty Prevention Act (HB 1191/SB1248) has passed in the state legislature and is now awaiting the signature of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. The measure stops animal rights activists from videotaping and editing videos to produce ugly abuse scenes on tape and sending these videos to the media, which in turn negatively impacts the agricultural industry.
This measure doesn’t prevent farmers and ranchers in the state from being transparent; instead, it prohibits animal rights activists from getting hired on these operations under false pretenses.
Whether you live in Tennessee or not, I encourage you to call or write Gov. Haslam today and tell him to sign the bill into law. He can be reached at 615-741-2001, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Mat Hayward / Shutterstock.com
Apparently, country music star Carrie Underwood, a big supporter of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) has a big beef with this bill.
According to Taste of Country, “Underwood is furious about a new bill that has passed in Tennessee — and she’s not afraid to say so in public. The ‘Blown Away’ singer took to social media Thursday (April 18) to denounce the Tennessee state legislature for passing the so-called ‘Ag Gag’ bill, which many critics say will help factory farms get away with abusing animals.
“Shame on TN lawmakers for passing the Ag Gag bill,”Underwood posted to Facebook. “If Gov. Bill Haslam signs this, he needs to expect me at his front door. Who’s with me?”
“In an episode of VH1′s ‘Behind the Music,’ Underwood revealed that she became a vegetarian as a little girl after watching her parents castrate calves on the family farm.
“I couldn’t eat those precious cows — they were my babies!” the singer said. “I bottle-fed some of them.”
Underwood continues to support animal rights extremist groups like HSUS, which would happily put her parents’ ranch in Oklahoma out of business. It’s a shame that, once again, celebrities in Hollywood and Nashville will influence legislation in areas they are not qualified to weigh in on. I suggest Underwood get back to her singing career, and leave the agriculture and politics alone.
What are your thoughts on this bill? Share your opinions in the comments section below.
By the way, if you’re in the Fargo, ND, area on April 25th, join me on campus at North Dakota State University (NDSU), where I will be speaking on this topic and other beef industry news at 6 p.m. in the Family Life Center, Room 124. Thanks to NDSU’s Saddle & Sirloin for the invitation. Hope to see you there!
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