After recent undercover investigations cast a negative light on Australia’s wool and pork industries, a Senator is introducing a bill that would criminalize the taking of photos and video of “a legally operating animal enterprise.” But instead of calling it what it is – “ag gag” – the Senator is attempting to disguise the proposed law as one that would “strengthen genuine animal welfare protections.” Of course, eliminating transparency by keeping out the cameras will make conditions worse for the animals, as agribusiness will have no incentive to minimize abuse. The law would also require animal rights activists to turn over their video evidence of animal abuse to the proper authorities within 24 or 48 hours. In other words, if you do manage to get footage of animal abuse, you have to both incriminate yourself for trespassing AND turn over the footage to people who are not going to publicize it, as the activists would.
In light of public support for transparency and whistle-blowing, ag-gag proponents are attempting to hide their true intent — keeping the public in the dark — behind not only “animal protections” but also “biosecurity,” as if the mere presence of an activist with a camera is going to spread disease in a shed with thousands of animals living in their own excrement. The cameras don’t pose a risk to anyone but the abusers. Please see how you can support the effort to block ag gag bills.