We filed a federal lawsuit against Idaho.

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Constitutional Challenge Made to State’s Attempt to Silence Factory Farm Whistle-Blowers

Contact:   Daniel Hauff, DHAPR Group 312.650.9210

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BOISE — A coalition of organizations dedicated to civil liberties, animal protection, food safety, labor rights, and the environment, along with journalists and experts in covert operations, filed a federal lawsuit to overturn Idaho’s newly passed “ag gag” statute, signed into law by Idaho governor C.L. “Butch” Otter on February 28. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Idaho’s ag gag law (Idaho Code sec. 18-7042), and was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho by national nonprofits Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho (ACLU), and the Center for Food Safety (CFS). Idaho is the seventh state to pass an ag gag law, and the first to do so since 2012.

The U.S. Constitution protects free speech and freedom of the press, including journalistic exposés of industrial animal production. Like other ag gag laws, Idaho’s statute criminalizes whistle-blowing investigations at factory farms, and specifically targets animal advocates who expose illegal and cruel practices. Idaho’s ag gag law makes it illegal for anyone to take photos or videos at a factory farm or slaughterhouse without the owner’s express consent. If convicted under the ag gag law, a whistle-blower would face up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. By comparison, the maximum jail term for a first-offense conviction of animal cruelty in Idaho is six months. In other words, Idaho more severely punishes those who expose cruelty to animals than those who commit it. Continue reading

New to Being Veg? Some good tips.

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There are lots of blogs and lists out there for those new to a compassionate, animal-free diet. One Green Planet just posted a great list of items to have on hand in your fridge to assure your taste buds are delighted, no matter what you are cooking up.
A vegetarian diet without any animal products, called “vegan,” is the only way to avoid paying others to be violent on your behalf.

Violence is inherent in the egg, dairy, and meat industries.

And yes, aquatic life are made of flesh, too, and therefore you cannot call yourself a vegetarian if you are eating flesh. Continue reading

Antibiotics for Livestock

Photo credit: ecowatch.com

Photo credit: ecowatch.com

Bruce Friedrich serves as senior policy director for Farm Sanctuary, a national farmed animal protection organization. He wrote an excellent letter to the editor published in the NY Times in response to a recent editorial regarding antibiotic use on farms. See and comment on Mr. Friedrich’s letter to the NY Times here.

To the Editor:

Re “The Peril of Antibiotic Use on Farms” (editorial, Dec. 22):

The Food and Drug Administration’s antibiotic “guidance” is worse than complete inaction, because it implies that if pharmaceutical companies and industrial farms comply with the F.D.A.’s suggestions, antibiotic use will decline. But the agency is asking drug companies only to change its labels — removing statements that the antibiotics can be used to promote livestock growth — and asking farms to ensure that drugs are used solely to treat, prevent or control disease. Continue reading

Bill & Lou Need Your Voice – Use It Now!

A college. An agribusiness program/project that uses animals as things rather than the sentient individuals who they are. The individuals? Two cows – Bill and Lou.

Conflicting stories as to their fate – from the same institution telling the stories, all representatives of the college and the affiliated farm. And a group of concerned citizens who wish to know the truth.

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New York Times photo: “Baylee Drown, the assistant manager at Green Mountain College’s farm, with Bill, one of the college’s two oxen that [sic] are scheduled to be slaughtered this month [October 2012].”

I am among that group of people. And I hope you’ll join me in urging Green Mountain College to be upfront in what it did with Bill and Lou – two cows whose fates were in the hands of the institution’s administrators. Their plight raised an international outcry. The school planned on sending them to slaughter and serve them to the students – yep, you heard me right. You might even recall that story as I remember it. Then school officials said they wouldn’t. Then Bill and Lou disappeared. Now sources within the school (Green Mountain College’s Cerridwen Farm) allege that Bill and Lou were sent to slaughter anyway. Wouldn’t surprise me even though that action would/will (?) stomp all over Green Mountain student body’s belief in its school administration’s integrity.

Over 3 million voices were heard in 2012 before their deaths – make yours heard today.

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I am now a plaintiff.

Today in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed an historic lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of “ag gag” laws. Given my years overseeing some of the most important undercover investigations for farmed animals in U.S. history, I am a plaintiff in the case.

Ag-Gag laws are unconstitutional.

What better way to show how much animal agribusinesses have to hide than for them to push for laws that violate our constitutional rights and target a specific demographic of “rabble-rousers?” Some of my biggest heroes are the people who wire up with hidden cameras and pull back the curtain on the meat, egg, and dairy industries. They show us exactly what would happen on any other day.

We legally expose and educate the public on all of the gruesome violations of basic human decency to those who are incapable of fighting back – nonhuman animals – and I ask that you stand with us in this fight.

Continue reading