Target: Florida Senate
Goal: To tell the Florida Senate not to pass a bill that would censor the First Amendment rights of animal rights activists by making it a first-degree misdemeanor to take photos or recordings of a farm.
New media and discreet cell phone cameras have made it easier than ever for animal rights groups to expose animal cruelty. We have seen recordings and photos online of people doing unspeakable things to animals in big factory farms, and in response we have enacted reforms such as California’s Proposition 2, which required that farm animals confined to cages have enough space to turn around and fully extend their limbs. But Big Agriculture doesn’t want these reforms. That is why, instead of improving conditions for farm animals, it is trying to make it impossible for us to see what the farms are doing to them.
The so-called “Ag Gag” bill was introduced in the Florida Senate earlier this year, and would have made it a felony to take photographs or video of a farm without written consent. Fortunately, this bill never made it to a vote, and the other “Ag Gag” bills in New York, Iowa, and Minnesota also failed. But the fight is not over. Florida Senator Jim Norman has managed to sneak the Ag Gag legislation into a larger agricultural bill that the Florida Senate is currently considering.
If passed, this bill will eliminate transparency in the Florida agriculture industry and stand in the way of much-needed animal rights reforms. It also flies in the face of our First Amendment rights. Clearly it needs to be stricken down. Don’t let Big Agriculture win. Tell the Florida Senate not to let this bill pass in its current form.
Dear Florida Senators,
I was dismayed to hear that Jim Norman’s legislation criminalizing the practice of taking photos or recordings at farms has been reintroduced through an agricultural bill. This is clearly an effort by Big Agriculture to eliminate the transparency that is so vital to exposing the inhumane treatment of animals that goes on in these farms every day. This kind of legislation would be devastating to the animal rights movement, not to mention in clear violation of our First Amendment rights.
A vote for SB 1184 would be a vote for censorship and animal cruelty. I hope that you will stand up to Big Agriculture and do the right thing by voting this bill down and ending Jim Norman’s attempts to silence animal activists.
[Your Name Here]