This story is just so completely appalling I am at a loss for words. These people are like Mafia Dons demanding the press not cover their crimes and the politicians are completely in their pockets.
From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/us/14video.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=farm%20abuse&st=cse
By A. G. SULZBERGER
Published: April 13, 2011
Undercover videos showing grainy, sometimes shocking images of sick or injured livestock have become a favorite tool of animal rights organizations to expose what they consider illegal or inhumane treatment of animals.
Made by animal rights advocates posing as farm workers, such videos have prompted meat recalls, slaughterhouse closings, criminal convictions of employees and apologies from corporate executives assuring that the offending images are an aberration.
In Iowa, where agriculture is a dominant force both economically and politically, such undercover investigations could soon be illegal.
A bill before the Iowa legislature would make it a crime to produce, distribute or possess photos and video taken without permission at an agricultural facility. It would also criminalize lying on an application to work at an agriculture facility “with an intent to commit an act not authorized by the owner.”
Similar legislation is being considered in Florida and Minnesota, part of a broader effort by large agricultural companies to pre-emptively block the kind of investigations that have left their operations uncomfortably — and unpredictably — open to scrutiny.
Their opponents, including national groups that oppose industrial farming practices, say these undercover investigations have been invaluable for revealing problems and are a form of whistle-blowing that should be protected. They argue that the legislation, if passed, would essentially hide animal abuse and food safety violations.
Wayne Pacelle, the executive director of the Humane Society of the United States, noted that secretly recorded videos released last year revealed unsanitary conditions inside egg plants in Iowa. Months later, a different Iowa egg producer was responsible for the largest egg recall in United States history because of salmonella contamination.
“It’s because they don’t want you to see what’s going on that we’ve resorted to employee investigations,” Mr. Pacelle said.
The legislation has been strongly backed by Republicans but has also won some Democrats. John P. Kibbie, Democrat of Emmetsburg and president of the State Senate, who has been working on an amended bill expected to be released this week, said he supported the legislation to “make producers feel more comfortable.”
Complete article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/us/14video.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=farm%20abuse&st=cse