Circle Four Farms sprawls across 90 square miles of land in southwestern Utah. There are about 600,000 hogs here at a time, packed by the thousands into long warehouse sheds. About one million hogs—185 times the human population of the county—are raised at Circle Four each year, making it the largest factory farm in the state; its parent company, Smithfield Foods, is one of the largest in the world.
The farm is so large that its scale is difficult to view from the public road. At best, one could see a few of the sheds, some feed bins, trucks.
But Circle Four Farms has plenty of reasons to be wary of exposure, even from a distance. [click to continue…]
A U.S.-style “ag-gag” proposal to restrict undercover investigations has just been defeated in South Australia.
The Surveillance Devices Bill would have cracked down on undercover investigations—particularly those by animal rights groups—by criminalizing the publication of undercover video.
Activists and journalists would have faced a $15,000 fine or imprisonment of three years. Organizations involved in the investigations would face a maximum penalty of $75,000. [click to continue…]
“Terrorization of Dissent: Corporate Repression, Legal Corruption, and the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act” is a new book examining the AETA and how it threatens the right to protest.
The following is from the preface by Will Potter:
When I testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee about the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act in 2006, I argued that such sweeping legislation criminalizes First Amendment activity, whistleblowing, and nonviolent civil disobedience as “terrorism,” and would have a chilling effect on free speech. Members of the committee, including Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), dismissed my concerns and promised that the law would only target property destruction and violence.
This has been the major talking point from supporters of this legislation for years: the law is only about “extremists,” and as long as you aren’t part of the Animal Liberation Front, you have nothing to worry about. Lawmakers went so far as to respond to my concerns by including empty rhetoric in the rules of construction promising that the bill “does not include any lawful economic disruption (including a lawful boycott) that results from lawful public, governmental, or business reaction to the disclosure of information about an animal enterprise.”
Since that time, the true scope of this legislation has been exposed [click to continue…]
The state Agriculture Commissioner for Texas is warning the public of an insidious plot to indoctrinate our children. And it could be coming to a school cafeteria near you.
“This activist movement called ‘Meatless Mondays‘ is a carefully-orchestrated campaign that seeks to eliminate meat from Americans’ diets seven days a week — starting with Mondays,” Ag Commisioner Todd Staples wrote in a recent op-ed for the Austin American-Statesman.
The Dripping Springs school district, outside of Austin, adopted the program recently. It’s part of a growing national trend to offer healthier, more sustainable meals just one day a week.
But Staples says its part of a radical activist agenda [click to continue…]