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Amnesty International opposes Ag-gag laws

May 29, 2013
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Source Amnesty International

My life’s work has always been human rights, but I’m also a strong supporter of animal protection. So I was especially heartened by our recent decision to join 59 other organizations – ranging from the Humane Society to the ACLU to the Sierra Club to the United Farmworkers – to oppose what are known as “ag-gag” bills.

These bills aim to silence and thwart whistle-blowers who would expose animal cruelty, poor working conditions, food or environmental safety issues, and more by, for example, making it a crime for an investigator to get a job on a factory farm, banning taking a photo or video without permission, and requiring mandatory reporting under timelines that are so short as to make it virtually impossible to document patterns of abuse.

What at first might appear to be exclusively an animal abuse issue is, on closer inspection, clearly also a freedom of expression issue, a workers’ rights issue, an environmental issue and a public health issue.  And this is why such a diverse coalition has come together to oppose “ag-gag” bills.

Our movements have some key principles in common, perfectly encapsulated in our opposition to the bills. First, cruelty in any form is always abhorrent, always unacceptable, and should always be opposed. Unchecked, it is corrosive, diminishing all of us and putting us all at risk.

Second, abuses thrive in the dark. Time and time again, Amnesty’s research has shown that governments and corporations alike try to keep out of the reach of public and judicial scrutiny what they know can never be justified.

Finally, sunshine – in our case, the proverbial candle – really is the best disinfectant. We have no hope of stopping abuses if we can’t even bring them to light. This is why Amnesty has for more than fifty years been such a staunch defender of the right to freedom of expression, which itself is essential to the protection of other rights.

Learn more about ag-gag bills here and here, and if one of these bills comes up in your state, let your state legislators know that you oppose it.

This entry was posted in Censorship and Free Speech, USA and tagged , by Vienna Colucci. Bookmark the permalink.


we are the voices of those who cannot speak,
the lost, the abused, the suffering, the weak.
we hear their cries, we hear their pleas.
we are the antidote to manunkind’s cruelty
disease.
we will not be silenced nor be
told we cannot see.
the plight of the victims and their
miseries!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2013 12:33 pm

    This is truly great news and we can use more anti Ag Gag supporters! It really is a human and animal problem animal s are being abused and need protecting and humans who try todo the right thing by reporting the abuse needs protecting thanks Amnesty for joining in the fight! Thanks Stacey for this great news i will share everywhere

    Like

    • May 29, 2013 2:53 pm

      Well-said, Florence, I completely agree. Thank you for sharing, as always.

      Like

  2. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    May 29, 2013 4:42 pm

    we are the voices of those who cannot speak,
    the lost, the abused, the suffering, the weak.
    we hear their cries, we hear their pleas.
    we are the antidote to manunkind’s cruelty
    disease.
    we will not be silenced nor be
    told we cannot see.
    the plight of the victims and their
    miseries!

    Like

    • May 29, 2013 6:14 pm

      Thank you, Karen, very well-written, it’s perfect.

      Like

      • karenlyonskalmenson permalink
        May 30, 2013 4:54 am

        you are welcome, stacey and thank you♥

        Like

  3. narhvalur permalink
    May 29, 2013 9:25 pm

    Reblogged this on Ann Novek–With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors.

    Like

  4. Zephr permalink
    June 2, 2013 9:34 am

    Reblogged this on Loki’s Gift.

    Like

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