It is important for those of us in Wisconsin to become familiar with the Ag Gag bills which are currently gaining momentum in neighboring Illinois and Minnesota. Ag-Gag bills would make it a crime to take photos or videos on farms to expose animal cruelty, environmental and labor violations, and other illegal or unethical behavior.
The individuals targeted by Ag-Gag laws are not the criminals who are beating or stabbing animals (as seen on some undercover videos). Instead, the bills would punish the whistleblowers, the people who dare to lift the veil on these oft-hidden cruelties. The language in the bills varies somewhat state to state, but in many cases the penalties for exposing cruelty may be harsher than those for the actual commission of cruelty. In a number of states the proposed legislation would not only prevent the documentation of the abuse of farm animals, but also could prohibit investigations of puppy mills and dog racing.
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