I am counting to ten as I write this; I might need to count to one hundred. Some U.S. states want to make it illegal for animal activists to tape cases of farm animal cruelty. To quote the article that discusses this:
One of the group’s model bills, “The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act,” prohibits filming or taking pictures on livestock farms to “defame the facility or its owner.” Violators would be placed on a “terrorist registry.”
Filming acts of cruelty perpetrated against defenceless animals is now an act of terrorism? This is simply beyond belief. Many of these videos have resulted in investigations and criminal charges. It’s highly unlikely that any of these cases of animal cruelty would have come to light if animal welfare advocates requested permission in advance to tape farm factory practices, as naturally, everything would be be cleaned up for the visit.
The article cites one reason for this legislation: Don Lehe, a Republican state representative from a rural district in Indiana, said online videos can cast farmers in a false light and give them little opportunity to correct the record. If farmers wanted to defend themselves, I’m sure they could find a way and dispute the accuracy of the videos both on the Internet, and via legal channels. So, the democratic approach is that rather than let these farmers explain or defend their actions via legal channels, shut down or “ag-gag” any efforts to show their operations. If these farmers have nothing for which they need to apologize, then why prevent people from taping their operations?