Target: David Long, President of the Indiana State Senate
Goal: Stop passage of bill that will protect agribusiness animal abusers
Animal abuse by large agribusinesses is usually exposed by disgruntled employees. The number of these accounts has increased in recent years. Workers have also exposed unsafe labor conditions and poor environmental practices. Often these accounts have only resulted in more secrecy on the part of agribusiness, rather than increased protections for animal rights. In Indiana, this has now taken the official form of a congressional bill to prevent whistle-blowing. The bill makes it illegal to conduct investigations without the prior knowledge of agribusiness officials.
The prevention of such a bill is essential not only for farm animal safety, but also for American food safety. For example, farm animals given outrageous amounts of hormones, far above safe levels, live painful, tragic lives and threaten the safety of consumers. Large industrial farms cannot be permitted to operate without any oversight. Whistle blowers keep big companies honest and encourage corporate leaders to provide basic rights to the animals and workers in their care.
Organizations like the Indiana Alliance for Animal Control and Welfare provide telephone hotlines to encourage whistle blowers to report animal abuse. Ethical Farms also encourages whistle blowers to keep agribusiness in check. Encourage lawmakers to heed whistle blowers rather than intimidate them. Ask Indiana’s congress not to pass Senate Bill 373 outlawing agribusiness employees from uncovering animal abuses.
Dear Senator Long,
The Indiana State Senate will soon vote on SB 373, which will make it illegal for agribusiness employees to report acts of animal abuse by their employers. Discouraging whistle blowers like these allows large agribusinesses to operate unchecked, which puts the American people at risk. Farm animal abuse is not only an issue of ethics, it is also an issue of food safety. If agribusiness employees are the primary whistle blowers who report acts of animal abuse, then intimidating them will only increase the likelihood of abuse in the future.
I encourage you to heed whistle blowers and organizations like the Indiana Alliance for Animal Control and Welfare (IAACWO) and Ethical Farms, which encourage employees to report acts of animal abuse on their anonymous telephone hotlines. We must prevent the abuse of animals and promote the rights of farm workers to truly have a safe and just farming community. For the safety of all consumers, farm workers, and farm animals, I ask you not to pass SB 373 outlawing whistle blowing.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: jon smith. via flickr