Idaho Senate Bill 1337
UPDATE: It passed
Severe Animal Abuse in Idaho Farms
This morning I got an email with a link to the following video. This video shows violent and sexual abuse to animals, and is QUITE GRAPHIC, VIEW WITH CAUTION. Potential TRIGGER WARNING
In case you didn’t watch the video, Idaho Senate bill 1337 is looking to ban whistle blowers, like the ones shown in this video, from being able to go into factory farms and capture under cover video of animal abuse. They mean to criminalize it as well, with up to 1 year in jail, up to a $5000 fine, and an additional fine up to TWICE “the value of the damage resulting from the violation.” This type of legislation is known as an “ag-gag bill.”
What is an “ag-gag bill”
An “ag-gag” bill, such as Idaho Senate Bill 1337, is a bill that is specifically designed to silence whistle blowers who purposefully try to gather information on companies who are corrupt, instituting questionable practices, committing acts of violence, or just being plain ass holes. Ag-gag bills, which I think is short for “agricultural gag bills” but I cannot confirm that, in the US date back to 2003 when the American Legislative Exchange Council, (or as they prefer to be called, ALEC) made its first attempt to pass the “Animal Ecological Terrorism Act”, and it has since tried again in 2013.
The “Animal Ecological Terrorism Act” bill equates video taping corporations breaking the law, to an act of terror. Blowing people up and taking videos of crimes? I don’t see the problem, seems the same to me! Seriously though, I think we should be pretty pissed off about this, calling whistle blowers the same as Terrorists is ludicrous, and insulting to the REAL victims of REAL terrorists… not to mention the terrorist might be offended too, but I am generally less concerned about their feelings.
Idaho Senate Bill 1337 is just another attempt at creating a legal president to silence those pesky whistle blowers from hurting little old big-agro. It is one more step bringing us closer to a law like the “Animal Ecological Terrorism Act” from getting passed.
What is Idaho Senate Bill 1337 purposing
Idaho Senate Bill 1337 is aiming make it completely illegal to enter a factory farm with the intention of video or audio taping anything that is going on there. You are not allowed to enter by trespassing (that’s ALREADY illegal, so there isn’t much to say about that), forcefully, by threat, or by misrepresentation.
It is the last point there where you start to get into some problems. Even if you are legally employed by the company, if you do so with the intention of video taping them COMMITTING CRIMES you can be fined and put in jail. This is a law that is blatantly designed to protect the criminals! Imagine if we used this line of thinking for other laws.
You video taped an employee stealing from a store they work at? JAIL! You video tape a person committing an assault? JAIL! You video tape a person peeing in public? GROSS, why are you so interesting in people peeing? AND JAIL!
If the Idaho senators get their way and pass Idaho Senate Bill 1337, then we all lose. We consumers lose, whistle blowers lose, but most of all the animals lose. I encourage you to read the bill yourself, I have posted it at the bottom, with a link to the site they posted it to.
My view on the whole issue
Is abuse of factory farmed animals the most pressing social issue of our time? Short answer, no. There are still two American wars going on, the are armed revolutions/mass demonstrations, where civilians are being murdered, in at least 4 places currently (and that is just off the top of my head, there are most likely more).
However, that does not diminish the real abuses going on, and the real torment that these animal are suffering through, literally their entire lives. There will always be us bleeding hearts who care about these issues, and so long as they persist, they will consume at least some of my time. This means that I have less time to focus on human rights violations, and that is not a good thing.
This abuse is not a necessity to feed people, but it is being used to fulfill a sadistic pleasure. It is patently wrong, and as a society we need to ask ourselves, is this what we want to allow? Idaho Senate Bill 1337 is looking to make it harder to stop this sort of uncalled for violence.
If you want to fight back against Idaho Senate Bill 1337, then I encourage you to PLEASE go sign this petition on Change.org
Also check out this list of reasons why you should stop making excuses for not becoming a vegetarian. I am not going to sit here and tell you that I think you are a bad, immoral person for eating meat, I get it. Not everyone’s life is conducive to vegetarianism/veganism.
But just imagine what would happen if all the meat eaters decided to consume just 10% less meat each year? That would mean SO many animals aren’t going to be created just to die, and the current inspectors would have far fewer farms to inspect. This would make their jobs easier, ergo, meat gets better oversight, and the end result is better meat hits your plate. Chew on that for a while… I really can’t help the puns :/
Idaho Senate Bill 1337 as it is written
I highlighted some of the pertinent sections.
-Copied directly from of Idaho Senate Bill 1337
LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO
Sixty-second Legislature Second Regular Session – 2014
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1337
BY AGRICULTURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO AGRICULTURE; AMENDING CHAPTER 70, TITLE 18, IDAHO CODE, BY THE
3 ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 18-7042, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE FOR THE CRIME
4 OF INTERFERENCE WITH AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION, TO DEFINE TERMS, TO PRO-
5 VIDE FOR VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES AND TO PROVIDE FOR RESTITUTION; PRO-
6 VIDING SEVERABILITY; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
7 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
8 SECTION 1. That Chapter 70, Title 18, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
9 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
10 ignated as Section 18-7042, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
11 18-7042. INTERFERENCE WITH AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION. (1) A person com-
12 mits the crime of interference with agricultural production if the person
14 (a) Is not employed by an agricultural production facility and enters
15 an agricultural production facility by force, threat, misrepresenta-
16 tion or trespass;
17 (b) Obtains records of an agricultural production facility by force,
18 threat, misrepresentation or trespass;
19 (c) Obtains employment with an agricultural production facility by
20 force, threat, or misrepresentation with the intent to cause economic
21 or other injury to the facility’s operations, livestock, crops, owners,
22 personnel, equipment, buildings, premises, business interests or cus-
24 (d) Enters an agricultural production facility that is not open to the
25 public and, without the facility owner’s express consent or pursuant
26 to judicial process or statutory authorization, makes audio or video
27 recordings of the conduct of an agricultural production facility’s op-
28 erations; or
29 (e) Intentionally causes physical damage or injury to the agricultural
30 production facility’s operations, livestock, crops, personnel, equip-
31 ment, buildings or premises.
32 (2) For purposes of this section:
33 (a) “Agricultural production” means activities associated with the
34 production of agricultural products for food, fiber, fuel and other
35 lawful uses and includes without limitation:
36 (i) Construction, expansion, use, maintenance and repair of an
37 agricultural production facility;
38 (ii) Preparing land for agricultural production;
39 (iii) Handling or applying pesticides, herbicides or other chem-
40 icals, compounds or substances labeled for insects, pests, crops,
41 weeds, water or soil;2
1 (iv) Planting, irrigating, growing, fertilizing, harvesting or
2 producing agricultural, horticultural, floricultural and viti-
3 cultural crops, fruits and vegetable products, field grains,
4 seeds, hay, sod and nursery stock, and other plants, plant prod-
5 ucts, plant byproducts, plant waste and plant compost;
6 (v) Breeding, hatching, raising, producing, feeding and keep-
7 ing livestock, dairy animals, swine, furbearing animals, poultry,
8 eggs, fish and other aquatic species, and other animals, animal
9 products and animal byproducts, animal waste, animal compost, and
10 bees, bee products and bee byproducts;
11 (vi) Processing and packaging agricultural products, including
12 the processing and packaging of agricultural products into food
13 and other agricultural commodities;
14 (vii) Manufacturing animal feed.
15 (b) “Agricultural production facility” means any structure or land,
16 whether privately or publicly owned, leased or operated, that is being
17 used for agricultural production.
18 (3) A person found guilty of committing the crime of interference with
19 agricultural production shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be pun-
20 ished by a term of imprisonment of not more than one (1) year or by a fine not
21 in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both such fine and impris-
23 (4) In addition to any other penalty imposed for a violation of this
24 section, the court shall require any person convicted, found guilty or who
25 pleads guilty to a violation of this section to make restitution to the vic-
26 tim of the offense in accordance with the terms of section 19-5304, Idaho
27 Code. Provided however, that such award shall be in an amount equal to twice
28 the value of the damage resulting from the violation of this section.
29 SECTION 2. SEVERABILITY. The provisions of this act are hereby declared
30 to be severable and if any provision of this act or the application of such
31 provision to any person or circumstance is declared invalid for any reason,
32 such declaration shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of
33 this act.
34 SECTION 3. An emergency existing therefor, which emergency is hereby
35 declared to exist, this act shall be in full force and effect on and after its
36 passage and approval.