Undercover Filming of Farm Conditions in Jeopardy
The Missouri State legislature has proposed a bill that would make undercover filming of unfit farm conditions illegal.
The bill, HB 1860, makes it illegal to produce or distribute a record of an image or sound occurring at an operation without the consent of the owner of the facility. Violators could be subject to six months to four years in prison. Supposedly, the bill would not penalize whistle blowers employed by an agricultural business.
At least four other states are currently considering “Ag Gag” bills. Similar bills were introduced but failed to become law in Indiana, Florida and Illinois. The Missouri bill now moves onto the Senate.
Secret recordings have been a very useful tool to inform the general population of the way their meat, eggs and dairy are produced, and have led to massive public outcries in the past.
Personally, I’ve watched documentaries that graphically show the sub grade conditions farm animals often face. The legislator that introduced the Missouri bill also happens to be a farmer, which makes me wonder what he may be trying to hide with the introduction of this bill. If there wasn’t anything atrocious to film, the bill wouldn’t seem to be necessary at all.
What are your thoughts regarding this legislation?