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    Virgin Islands Moderator Selene's Avatar
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    Exclamation Videoing farm animal cruelty to be made "terrorist crime" in US: new legislation

    Animal rights activists have been videotaping horrific examples of animal cruelty on American farms and ranches. Now some legislators are proposing making such tapes illegal – and the person making them be put on a special “terrorist list” for the "crime" of "ecological terrorism." BigFarm doesn't like seeing their crimes exposed.

    Please copy this to other websites, friends.

    From the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/us...the-crime.html

    Quote Posted by New York Times
    On one covert video, farm workers illegally burn the ankles of Tennessee walking horses with chemicals. Another captures workers in Wyoming punching and kicking pigs and flinging piglets into the air. And at one of the country’s largest egg suppliers, a video shows hens caged alongside rotting bird corpses, while workers burn and snap off the beaks of young chicks.

    Each video — all shot in the last two years by undercover animal rights activists — drew a swift response: Federal prosecutors in Tennessee charged the horse trainer and other workers, who have pleaded guilty, with violating the Horse Protection Act. Local authorities in Wyoming charged nine farm employees with cruelty to animals. And the egg supplier, which operates in Iowa and other states, lost one of its biggest customers, McDonald’s, which said the video played a part in its decision.

    But a dozen or so state legislatures have had a different reaction: They proposed or enacted bills that would make it illegal to covertly videotape livestock farms, or apply for a job at one without disclosing ties to animal rights groups. They have also drafted measures to require such videos to be given to the authorities almost immediately, which activists say would thwart any meaningful undercover investigation of large factory farms.

    Critics call them “Ag-Gag” bills.

    Some of the legislation appears inspired by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a business advocacy group with hundreds of state representatives from farm states as members. The group creates model bills, drafted by lobbyists and lawmakers, that in the past have included such things as “stand your ground” gun laws and tighter voter identification rules.

    One of the group’s model bills, “The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act,” prohibits filming or taking pictures on livestock farms to “defame the facility or its owner.” Violators would be placed on a “terrorist registry.”

    Officials from the group did not respond to a request for comment.

    Animal rights activists say they have not seen legislation that would require them to register as terrorists, but they say other measures — including laws passed last year in Iowa, Utah and Missouri — make it nearly impossible to produce similar undercover exposés. Some groups say that they have curtailed activism in those states.

    “It definitely has had a chilling effect on our ability to conduct undercover investigations,” said Vandhana Bala, general counsel for Mercy for Animals, which has shot many videos, including the egg-farm investigation in 2011. (McDonald’s said that video showed “disturbing and completely unacceptable” behavior, but that none of the online clips were from the Iowa farm that supplied its eggs. Ms. Bala, though, said that some video showing bird carcasses in cages did come from that facility.)

    The American Farm Bureau Federation, which lobbies for the agricultural and meat industries, criticized the mistreatment seen on some videos. But the group cautions that some methods represent best practices endorsed by animal-care experts.

    The videos may seem troubling to someone unfamiliar with farming, said Kelli Ludlum, the group’s director of Congressional relations, but they can be like seeing open-heart surgery for the first time.

    “They could be performing a perfect procedure, but you would consider it abhorrent that they were cutting a person open,” she said.

    In coming weeks, Indiana and Tennessee are expected to vote on similar measures, while states from California to Pennsylvania continue to debate them.

    Opponents have scored some recent victories, as a handful of bills have died, including those in New Mexico and New Hampshire. In Wyoming, the legislation stalled after loud opposition from animal rights advocates, including Bob Barker, former host of “The Price is Right.”

    In Indiana, an expansive bill became one of the most controversial of the state legislative session, drawing heated opposition from labor groups and the state press association, which said the measure violated the First Amendment.

    After numerous constitutional objections, the bill was redrafted and will be unveiled Monday, said Greg Steuerwald, a Republican state representative and chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

    The new bill would require job applicants to disclose material information or face criminal penalties, a provision that opponents say would prevent undercover operatives from obtaining employment. And employees who do something beyond the scope of their jobs could be charged with criminal trespass.

    An employee who took a video on a livestock farm with his phone and gave it to someone else would “probably” run afoul of the proposed law, Mr. Steuerwald said. The bill will apply not just to farms, but to all employers, he added.

    Nancy J. Guyott, the president of the Indiana chapter of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., said she feared that the legislation would punish whistle-blowers.

    Nationally, animal rights advocates fear that they will lose a valuable tool that fills the void of what they say is weak or nonexistent regulation.

    Livestock companies say that their businesses have suffered financially from unfair videos that are less about protecting animals than persuading consumers to stop eating meat.

    Don Lehe, a Republican state representative from a rural district in Indiana, said online videos can cast farmers in a false light and give them little opportunity to correct the record.

    “That property owner is essentially guilty before they had the chance to address the issue,” Mr. Lehe said.

    As for whistle-blowers, advocates for the meat industry say that they are protected from prosecution by provisions in some bills that give them 24 to 48 hours to turn over videos to legal authorities.
    “If an abuse has occurred and they have evidence of it, why are they holding on to it?” said Dale Moore, executive director of public policy for the American Farm Bureau Federation.

    But animal rights groups say investigations take months to complete.

    Undercover workers cannot document a pattern of abuse, gather enough evidence to force a government investigation and determine whether managers condone the abuse within one to two days, said Matt Dominguez, who works on farm animal protection at the Humane Society of the United States.

    “Instead of working to prevent future abuses, the factory farms want to silence them,” he said. “What they really want is for the whistle to be blown on the whistle-blower.”

    The Humane Society was responsible for a number of undercover investigations, including the videos of the Wyoming pig farm and the Tennessee walking horses.

    Video shot in 2011 showed workers dripping caustic chemicals onto the horses’ ankles and clasping metal chains onto the injured tissue. This illegal and excruciating technique, known as “soring,” forces the horse to thrust its front legs forward after every painful step to exaggerate the distinctive high-stepping gait favored by breeders. The video also showed a worker hitting a horse in the head with a large piece of wood.

    The Humane Society first voluntarily turned over the video to law enforcement. By the time the video was publicly disclosed, federal prosecutors had filed charges. A week later, they announced guilty pleas from the horse trainer and other workers.

    Prosecutors later credited the Humane Society with prompting the federal investigation and establishing “evidence instrumental to the case.”

    That aid to prosecutors shows the importance of lengthy undercover investigations that would be prevented by laws requiring video to be turned over within one or two days, Mr. Dominguez said.

    “At the first sign of animal cruelty, we’d have to pull our investigator out, and we wouldn’t be able to build a case that leads to charges.
    Regards,

    Selene

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    Default Re: Videoing farm animal cruelty to be made "terrorist crime" in US: new legislation

    Agri business has to be seen for what it is and people have to become more aware that when they eat a meat heavy diet they are hurting more than just themselves.

    Thanks for posting. I still eat some meat but have radically reduced my consumption. Eating vast quantities of fish isn't the a swer either. We are depleting the oceans and fish suffer pain and panic too. Just because it doesn't register on their faces is no reason to ignore that fundamental truth.

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    Default Re: Videoing farm animal cruelty to be made "terrorist crime" in US: new legislation

    Just when you think you have seen it all......



    At some point people will stand up to the absurdity of it all wouldn't you say? I mean... could it get any more crazy as this?

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    Default Re: Videoing farm animal cruelty to be made "terrorist crime" in US: new legislation

    Terrorist the new buzz just add to any act deemed to be anti-state. Just like if you were against the war you were automatically against the troops.
    There will come a day when we know our true history.

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    Default Re: Videoing farm animal cruelty to be made "terrorist crime" in US: new legislation

    not much left of the salami

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    Default Re: Videoing farm animal cruelty to be made "terrorist crime" in US: new legislation

    The word 'terrorist' was much hyped by the Bush era (Bush = terrorist in extremis), seems now to be a dysphemism, applied to anyone against any big corporate mal-activities. This stupid word enables the so-called 'word-police' to enact terrible things on democratic people, with no comeback, the innocents can be incarcerated - or even annihilated - in the USA. Time to stop this spreading and contact your local elected person to see what they are doing for you and your freedoms, and if they are not able to effect some positive response - they are not worthy of public office.
    The love you withhold is the pain that you carry
    and er..
    "Chariots of the Globs" (apols to Fat Freddy's Cat)

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    Default Re: Videoing farm animal cruelty to be made "terrorist crime" in US: new legislation

    Just in the last couple of weeks, we have the Monsanto Protection Act and now this. How much more evidence does the average American Idiot need that the State has completely sold out to the Corporations?

    This is way beyond anything Amschel Rothschild ever imagined. It's an even bigger and more arrogant beast these days:

    "Give me control of a nation's currency, and I will eventually write the laws myself."

    Can't totally blame the banksters, CEO's and their hidden masters though, they need willing obedient slaves to make it all work...



    "American Idiot"

    Don't wanna be an American idiot.
    Don't want a nation under the new media
    And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
    The subliminal mind f**k America.

    Welcome to a new kind of tension.
    All across the alien nation.
    Where everything isn't meant to be okay.
    Television dreams of tomorrow.
    We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
    For that's enough to argue.

    Well maybe I'm the f*****t America.
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda.
    Now everybody do the propaganda.
    And sing along to the age of paranoia.

    Welcome to a new kind of tension.
    All across the alien nation.
    Where everything isn't meant to be okay.
    Television dreams of tomorrow.
    We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
    For that's enough to argue.

    Don't want to be an American idiot.
    One nation controlled by the media.
    Information age of hysteria.
    It's calling out to idiot America.

    Welcome to a new kind of tension.
    All across the alien nation.
    Where everything isn't meant to be okay.
    Television dreams of tomorrow.
    We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
    For that's enough to argue.

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    Default Re: Videoing farm animal cruelty to be made "terrorist crime" in US: new legislation

    Quote Posted by avid (here)
    The word 'terrorist' was much hyped by the Bush era (Bush = terrorist in extremis), seems now to be a dysphemism, applied to anyone against any big corporate mal-activities. This stupid word enables the so-called 'word-police' to enact terrible things on democratic people, with no comeback, the innocents can be incarcerated - or even annihilated - in the USA. Time to stop this spreading and contact your local elected person to see what they are doing for you and your freedoms, and if they are not able to effect some positive response - they are not worthy of public office.
    Precisely. Nice observation. Orwell is alive and well, turning over in his grave in the 'Ministry of Truth'. Can someone say "newspeak"?

    It's frightening how prescient that novel was.

    "Patriot Act" Pah! The shamelessness of it all pales in comparison only to the intellectual sluggishness of the american people...
    Last edited by bruno dante; 8th April 2013 at 01:01.

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    Default Re: Videoing farm animal cruelty to be made "terrorist crime" in US: new legislation

    Thank you for your posting. I don't watch those videos because It's to hard, I imagine what people can do to animals. People do already horrible things to other people.
    But we can change. I live in Switerland and I have to say that thought it's not my original country, I'm proud to be Suisse. The eliminate de battery chicken since 1991. Here is a document (sorry is in french), that compares the suisse law for animal protection with the UE law.
    http://www.protection-animaux.com/in...tergrund_f.pdf

    Well, I do still have hope there will much more people to change things. And i'm not saying be véggies (i'am myself), here in we can find small farms where you can buy animals treated with respect.

    Please excuse my bad english.
    Patricia

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    Default Re: Videoing farm animal cruelty to be made "terrorist crime" in US: new legislation

    We had a disgusting episode of animal cruelty here in Australia a few weeks ago, some workers stomping on turkeys heads in the course of things, my ten year old daughter emailed the company asking why they couldnt put cameras in there to catch cruel workers and tell them we would not buy their turkeys anymore.The company sent an email stating they were going to put video cameras in the area and sack those concerned.However i believe this co. is being sold to the US-lb

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    Default Re: Videoing farm animal cruelty to be made "terrorist crime" in US: new legislation

    Please don't show your children such cruel things that can be traumatic for them.

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    Default Re: Videoing farm animal cruelty to be made "terrorist crime" in US: new legislation

    Quote Posted by EmEx (here)
    Please don't show your children such cruel things that can be traumatic for them.


    Please allow me to raise my children as I see fit- lookbeyond, and BTW i watched it first and used my grown up discretion

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    Default Re: Videoing farm animal cruelty to be made "terrorist crime" in US: new legislation

    Quote Posted by avid (here)
    The word 'terrorist' was much hyped by the Bush era (Bush = terrorist in extremis), seems now to be a dysphemism, applied to anyone against any big corporate mal-activities. This stupid word enables the so-called 'word-police' to enact terrible things on democratic people, with no comeback, the innocents can be incarcerated - or even annihilated - in the USA. Time to stop this spreading and contact your local elected person to see what they are doing for you and your freedoms, and if they are not able to effect some positive response - they are not worthy of public office.
    You are correct. Now it's just a political buzzword.
    There will come a day when we know our true history.

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    Default Re: Videoing farm animal cruelty to be made "terrorist crime" in US: new legislation

    I know this is an argument I can not win either by logic or appeals to emotion, but how can anyone possibly say they are "against cruelty to animals", but then still eat them? Surely one of the cruellest imaginable acts is the killing of another sentient being & the eating of their flesh? What does it mean to 'respect" a non-human animal - right up until the moment they are slaughtered? How does slaughter demonstrate respect?

    I am not attacking anyone here, just trying to make a point - EVERYBODY is a victim of human society, & has been for millennia. We have been conditioned to "love" some non-human "companion" animals, & to accept as legal the torture & murder of others. Some examples of legal, everyday torture are unanaesthetized castration; the de facto rape of females for "insemnation" of that species; mental torture, as in the parting of mothers from their young. . .etc etc - I needn't list them all, I'm sure.

    The very fact that most people do NOT uphold "cruelty to animals" indicates that we DO know on some level, that animals are capable of the same suffering as ourselves. It is not a matter of intelligence, but of being able to feel, that should lead us to a non-speciesist stance, where the rights of ANY other species are not infringed upon. I do not see it as kindness or compassion either, but simply as the right of any Sentient - would we say it is "kind" not to murder a child?

    I do advise anyone who has not yet seen the film by Joaquin Phoenix, "Earthlings" to watch it on youtube. Other species are not our property to use -nor are their excretions "products" produced for our benefit.

    I will not address this topic again on the forum - sadly, I have come to realize that either one is awake to the issue, or one is not; it is usually considered too contentious by most boards & I am new here, but I feel I had to speak my truth.

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