Reflecting upon the year gone by, National Public Radio declared 2013 to be ‘The Year Bills To Criminalize Animal Cruelty Videos Failed.” It was in this year that 15 Ag-Gag bills, or laws that make it illegal to photograph or shoot videos of internal operations of farms where food animals are being raised, were introduced in 11 states. Some states introduced multiple proposals. Tennessee and Arkansas introduced two, and Indiana three. Despite the flurry of proposals from across the country, not a single one passed. This is a testament not only to the hard work of those defending farm animals, but also a testament to how inherently wrong it is for the industry to try and hide behind closed doors and to keep the public from seeing what is going on inside a factory farm.
Philip Lymbery, CEO Compassion in World Farming stated:
The defeat of these proposals is a testament to the fact that we are on the right side of history. But we must remain vigilant.
Despite a clearly victorious year, the efforts by agribusiness to keep factory farms from public view continues. Toward the end of 2013, an undercover investigator for Compassion over Killing was charged with animal abuse. Her crime was that of filming three men abusing newborn calves. A whistleblower being prosecuted for the very crime she has exposed is unprecedented. The outcome of the case is yet to be determined. In addition, Indiana has introduced her first Ag-Gag proposal of 2014.
2013 was a victorious year for defeating Ag-Gag proposal. In 2014, however, the fight for the right to expose the reality for farm animals inside a factory farming continues.