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

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Cheese on Your Pizza

During my time overseeing the undercover investigations at Mercy For Animals (MFA) we documented horrific animal abuse. Much of it so shocking it was featured on national and international news media. This photo being featured by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on its Facebook page is from our (MFA’s) case at Willet Dairy in New York state. The photo shows a painful procedure called “disbudding.” This was one of our earlier employment-based cases (earlier = 2009, so hardly long ago).

At Willet Dairy we documented "disbudding," which is the painful removal of horns shown here without any pain relief or medical care.

At Willet Dairy we documented “disbudding,” which is the painful removal of horns shown here without any pain relief or medical care.

This is the Dairy Industry.

It doesn’t want you to know the truth.

Using a cautering device, this worker digs and burns the horn out of calf after calf. According to dairy experts who reviewed the footage, these calves were all far too old for the procedure not that it’s any less cruel or painful at a younger age.

Ag Gag laws are there to keep you from knowing the truth. You deserve to know the truth and these animals don’t deserve to suffer for absolutely no reason.

Continue reading

Ag Gag Laws Encourage Animal Abuse

Global Captive Breeders abused countless animals. We'll never truly know the extent, but thanks to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, this cruelty has been exposed.

Global Captive Breeders abused countless animals. We’ll never truly know the extent, but thanks to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, this cruelty has been exposed.

If Ag Gag laws were in effect when this case occurred, those who exposed it would be the criminals and those who did it would never have been documented and held accountable.

And that’s a bunch of crap.

Let’s cut the crap.

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

Threw my back out …

Released into the public domain by PETA.

Steve-O did a voice over for a Mercy For animals commercial we did once, but other than that his naked self has nothing to do with this article other than to remind one to please lift with your legs. Released into the public domain by PETA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been a long time since I threw my back out.

In fact, it’s been since the day I was to work undercover (or, let’s just say “covertly” for that situation, without announcing myself: “I’m here to film you harming animals so that the state can tell us there are no laws to protect these animals and we can push for better laws and inside I truly despise you, Animal Abuser!”) early in 2007 with a colleague to document some abuse in [State Redacted]. Continue reading