Target: Nebraska Legislature’s Judiciary Committee
Goal: Stop protecting abusive animal industries by preventing animal rights groups from exposing animal cruelty cases.
A recently introduced Nebraska bill will require witnesses of animal abuse to report the incident within 24 hours. This measure, disguised as a friendly attempt to end abuse quickly, does harm by preventing undercover rights groups from properly obtaining the evidence needed to close down abusive corporations. Though the Legislature’s Agriculture Committee successfully stopped a similar bill from passing last year, this measure has backing from meat industries and numerous corporations nationwide. Help defeat this proposal by urging the Nebraska Legislature’s Judiciary Committee members to kill this bill.
Not surprisingly, meat and poultry industries have been unwavering in their devotion to such bills that are now pending in California and Tennessee as well. The Nebraska bill has been called atrocious, disingenuous, and a subterfuge because it appears to support a quick end to animal abuse, yet does anything but. If witnesses of abuse have to report the offense within a day, little to no evidence can be gained to expose an organization of cruelty. If big businesses can’t be properly exposed, their products can’t be pulled from the shelf. Similar proposals have also attempted to make video and photo evidence illegal.
Republican assembly member Jim Patterson spoke in favor of the bills claiming, “If there’s abuse taking place, there is no sense in letting it continue so you can make a video.” His bill is currently sponsored by the California Cattlemen’s Association. Still, critics of the bills say they are blatant efforts to deny consumers knowledge of how food is truly made. “I wish the cattlemen actually wanted to stop cruelty, not the documenting of cruelty,” said Jennifer Fearing, the humane society’s California director.
If there’s abuse taking place, there is no sense in making accusations without proper evidence. In the past, documentaries made over weeklong spans have led to the closure of slaughterhouses, revealing the severe cruelty animals endured at the hands of workers. Short excerpts of dairy cows being repeatedly shocked and shot before slaughter was all it took to end a vicious practice in one state. Animals in other slaughterhouses were shown to be muzzled and suffocated, beat over the head, and lifted by their hind legs while conscious to have their throats slit on a conveyor belt. Such video evidence shut down multiple cruel practices, but would be impossible to obtain if such bills were passed. In some cases, the evidence would be considered illegal and invasive documentation, and the witness instead of the corporation would face punishment.
While the bill may be successfully passed off to some as a measure in favor of animal protection, animal rights groups are furious. Large corporations that hope to tiptoe past conviction in order to keep their products of cruelty on consumer shelves will be voting in favor of it. Urge the Nebraska Legislature’s Judiciary Committee to see past the deceptive purpose of this measure and kill the bill immediately.
Dear Nebraska Legislature’s Judiciary Committee,
A recently introduced bill in Nebraska will prevent witnesses of cruelty from gaining proper evidence of crimes against animals. The bill, backed by meat and poultry industries across the nation, is a corporate conservative attempt to discourage, and even illegalize, video and photo evidence that could help reduce animal abuse. The measure would obligate witnesses to file a report within 24 hours, too short a time to gain any evidence whatsoever.
This proposal, disguised as an attempt to protect animals, does not succeed in benefiting animals or consumers. The bill would make it impossible to catch corporations guilty of crime, and it would allow products of cruelty to remain on consumer shelves without the public being remotely aware of it. Video and photo evidence have successfully shut down abusive industries in the past and have ultimately created safer environments for animals. While animal abuse is still an epidemic in this country, individuals and industries should do everything possible to reduce the rate of it. Ensuring that evidence of cruelty is difficult to obtain is not the proper course. Consequently, I urge you to kill this bill.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Petside.com