Kay Evans: Cameras and cruelty

May 8, 2013 

Cameras and cruelty

Regarding N.C. Senate Bill 648: The Commerce Protection Act is a euphemism for an “Ag-Gag” bill. SB 648 was introduced April 4, the same day a fifth Butterball employee pleaded guilty to criminal cruelty to animals on an N.C. factory farm.

If passed, this bill would make it unlawful “to create or produce a record that reproduces an image or sound occurring within the employer’s facility, including a photographic, video, or audio medium record.” The Butterball employees were convicted of cruelty to animals because an undercover investigator filmed them repeatedly torturing turkeys. If this bill passes, the whistleblowers will become the criminals, while the animal abusers will remain free to continue their abuse.

In 2003, North Carolina rushed to exempt “lawful activities conducted for the primary purpose of providing food for human or animal consumption,” from its animal cruelty statutes. Animals on factory farms have minimal protection. We have a moral obligation to prevent further abuse and torture. What does the industry have to hide? Animal abuse? Worker abuse? Contaminated food?

SB 648 doesn’t apply only to factory farming. Anyone documenting corporate abuse – of humans or animals – anywhere, any time, would be charged with criminal activity.

Kay Evans


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