In the past decade, modern industrial agriculture has experienced a stream of negative media attention, a significant departure from the typical pastoral image of American farming. The livestock industry in particular has come under fire with the release of undercover videos exposing animal cruelty.
In 2004, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) secretly filmed a video revealing horrific images of workers at a West Virginia slaughterhouse kicking, stomping, and slamming live chickens against walls and floors. The video brought about a massive investigation of the slaughterhouse, as well as several firings of workers who had engaged in the abuse.
A few years later, in 2008, The Humane Society published a similar undercover, investigative video documenting the abuse of “downer” cattle, or cattle that are too sick or injured to stand or walk, upon arriving at a California slaughterhouse. In what Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and an expert in slaughter practices, called “one of the worst animal-abuse videos I have ever viewed,” the video showed workers kicking the downed cattle, dragging them by chains, pushing them with forklifts, and delivering repeated electric shocks in an attempt to get them to stand up for inspection.
In addition to those videos, many others have surfaced in recent years as a result of hidden filming by animal rights advocates posing as employees on farms and in processing plants. In some circumstances, these images have provided the evidence necessary to close a plant, recall certain products, and to pursue criminal sanctions.
In what some say is a response to the bad publicity created by these videos, two states have introduced bills that make it a felony to photograph or record a farm without first obtaining written permission from the owner.
Senator Jim Norman (R) of Florida proposed the legislation, SB 1246, on Feb. 21, 2011. The bill provides that:
“[a] person who photographs, video records, or otherwise produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture operations are being conducted without the written consent of the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits a felony of the first degree.”
Read the rest of the story at: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/03/in-the-past-decade-modern/