Idaho “Ag-Gag” Law Ruled Unconstitutional in Federal Court Victory for Animals: District Court Rules Anti-Whistleblower Law Violates U.S. Constitution For immediate release: Contact: Daniel Hauff, The OutJustice Foundation: 312-650-9210 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org Nicole Roth, Animal Legal Defense Fund: 415-615-2016 (cell) email@example.com … Continue reading
Constitutional Challenge Made to State’s Attempt to Silence Factory Farm Whistle-Blowers
Contact: Daniel Hauff, DHAPR Group 312.650.9210
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BOISE — A coalition of organizations dedicated to civil liberties, animal protection, food safety, labor rights, and the environment, along with journalists and experts in covert operations, filed a federal lawsuit to overturn Idaho’s newly passed “ag gag” statute, signed into law by Idaho governor C.L. “Butch” Otter on February 28. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Idaho’s ag gag law (Idaho Code sec. 18-7042), and was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho by national nonprofits Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho (ACLU), and the Center for Food Safety (CFS). Idaho is the seventh state to pass an ag gag law, and the first to do so since 2012.
The U.S. Constitution protects free speech and freedom of the press, including journalistic exposés of industrial animal production. Like other ag gag laws, Idaho’s statute criminalizes whistle-blowing investigations at factory farms, and specifically targets animal advocates who expose illegal and cruel practices. Idaho’s ag gag law makes it illegal for anyone to take photos or videos at a factory farm or slaughterhouse without the owner’s express consent. If convicted under the ag gag law, a whistle-blower would face up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. By comparison, the maximum jail term for a first-offense conviction of animal cruelty in Idaho is six months. In other words, Idaho more severely punishes those who expose cruelty to animals than those who commit it. Continue reading
Today in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed an historic lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of “ag gag” laws. Given my years overseeing some of the most important undercover investigations for farmed animals in U.S. history, I am a plaintiff in the case.
Ag-Gag laws are unconstitutional.
What better way to show how much animal agribusinesses have to hide than for them to push for laws that violate our constitutional rights and target a specific demographic of “rabble-rousers?” Some of my biggest heroes are the people who wire up with hidden cameras and pull back the curtain on the meat, egg, and dairy industries. They show us exactly what would happen on any other day.
We legally expose and educate the public on all of the gruesome violations of basic human decency to those who are incapable of fighting back – nonhuman animals – and I ask that you stand with us in this fight.
Some things just never change. Or do they?
Some of you know me from my time serving as U.S. Director of Investigations with Mercy For Animals. I oversaw some of the most important undercover investigations into contemporary animal agribusinesses of nearly every type, and certainly the ones that affected the most animals, in U.S. history. It was an ugly, miserable job. But, it was important and I did it. Why? Because I could.
Every investigation we did was chosen completely at random. Continue reading