After being repeatedly exposed for serious, systemic animal cruelty, and now facing a media nightmare, animal agriculture corporations are firing back by calling for the prosecution of undercover activists who expose the abuses.
The Animal Agriculture Alliance says:
As these videos achieve the publicity sought by the groups, the Alliance is concerned that the activist employees providing the tapes are not held accountable for their failure to follow company animal care policies and their failure to immediately report mistreatment to the farm owners or managers.
There have been a slew of investigations in the last several years that have gained international attention. Two recent examples include the Mercy For Animals investigation of an egg hatchery and the Peta investigation of cows at Land O’ Lakes supplier facility.
Rather than stepping up and addressing these abuses, the industry is now arguing that it is the activists who should be punished for bringing them to light.
When I testified before Congress about the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, one of the concerns I raised is that the vague and overly broad law could be used to target whistleblowers and undercover investigators as “terrorists” for causing a loss of profits.
Those concerns were dismissed, just as lawmakers dismissed my concerns that the law would be used to target First Amendment activity (concerns that have unfortunately been proven true with the case of the AETA 4).
These investigations pose a serious, continued threat to the animal agriculture industry. The writing is on the wall, and they know it. They need to do everything in their power to make sure that people are not exposed to the realities of factory farms, even if that means utterly absurd campaigns like this one to arrest the activists who expose abuses.
Make no mistake: if these investigations continue, and they will, these corporations will escalate their tactics by campaigning for the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act to be used against them.