Texas: Ag-Gag Bill SB 1884 Dies on House Floor!

Great news — the freedom-crushing ag-gag bill SB 1884 is officially dead after not being heard on the House floor! Legislators had until midnight on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, to vote on the bill; however, the bill was not brought up for a vote. Since yesterday was the last day of the legislative session, the bill cannot be heard until the next legislative session and will be dead for the next two years.

 

 

Ag Gag Hides the Truth From You and Your Family

 

What is Ag Gag?

“Ag gag” is freedom-crushing state legislation aimed at punishing whistleblowers on factory farms. These unconstitutional bills have been sweeping the nation as the agricultural industry attempts to hide the abuses and horrific conditions animals on factory farms must endure. Ag gag laws are in clear violation of First Amendment rights, and negatively affect humans in addition to animals. These dangerous laws allow food safety risks, employee harassment, and unsafe working conditions to go unreported.

The Current State of Ag Gag

The recent surge of ag-gag bills is in response to a series of highly publicized undercover investigations by animal activists and journalists. These investigations have led to criminal convictions, lawsuits and major food recalls, and have allowed consumers to see the hidden practices of agribusiness.

LCA is Fighting Back

LCA monitors pending ag-gag legislation and campaigns against bills as they arise. In March 2015, LCA successfully defeated Arkansas bill HB 1774, which would have banned audio recording between anyone in an employment relationship unless all parties consented. After LCA exposed the bill to the media and circulated a petition against it, HB 1774 died quietly in committee.

In 2016, LCA also fought Missouri Bill HB 1414, which would have created an “information blackout” for factory farms and puppy mills — blocking you from learning about animal cruelty, toxic pollution and human health hazards like infectious diseases. Tens of thousands of people signed LCA’s petition against HB 1414, and on July 8, 2016, Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the dangerous bill.

See where your state stands below:

 

States with Ag-Gag Laws:

ALABAMA

Bill Name: Farm Animal, Crop, and Research Facilities Protection Act
Status: Passed – 2002
Summary: Prohibits anyone from possessing records that were obtained by way of deception and accessing property under “false pretenses.”
Click here to read the bill

ARKANSAS

Bill Name: HB 1665, “An Act to Create a Cause of Action for Unauthorized Access to Another Person’s Property; and for Other Purposes”
Introduced: 02/23/2017
Sponsors: Rep. DeAnn Vaught (R-4)
Status: 03/06/2017 Transmitted to the State Senate.
Summary: Prohibits anyone from gaining access to a non-public area of their employer’s property for the purpose of making recordings (including images or sounds) or capturing data or other material without employer’s consent. The bill allows business owners to sue for any damages, including damage to business’ public reputation. Would make it illegal for whistleblowers to expose wrongdoing at a business in Arkansas if wrongdoing occurs in a non-public area of the business property.
Click here to read the bill

IOWA

Statute: SF 519 (“Ag-Gag 2.0”)
Status: March 14, 2019 – Signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds
Summary: Prohibits “agricultural production facility trespass” and allows for the prosecution of people that use deception to gain access to agricultural facilities.
Click here to read the law

MISSOURI

Bill Name: SB 631 – R.S.Mo. 578.013 “Duty to submit videotape evidence of animal abuse or neglect”
Status: July 9, 2012 – Signed into law by Gov. Jay Nixon
Summary: Mandates that recordings depicting farm animal abuse or neglect must be submitted to law enforcement within twenty-four hours of the recording.
Click here to read the bill

KANSAS

Statute: Farm Animal and Field Crop Research Facilities Act
Status: 1990 – Signed into law by Gov. Mike Hayden (Litigation Pending)
Summary: Prohibits unauthorized entry into an animal facility with the intent to “damage the enterprise”; prohibits taking photos or videos inside the facility, or damage any field crop at the facility. Failure to comply results in a fine of $1,000-$25,000 and is a class A nonperson misdemeanor, class B nonperson misdemeanor or a nonperson felony.
Click here to read the law

MONTANA

Bill Name: Farm Animal and Research Facility Protection Act
Status: 1991 – Signed into law
Summary: Prohibits the unauthorized entering into an animal facility to take pictures by photograph, video camera, or other means with intent to commit criminal defamation.
Click here to read the bill

NORTH CAROLINA

Bill Name: HB 405 and Companion Bill SB 433
Status: June 3, 2015 – Passed
Summary: Prohibits anyone from gaining access to a non-public area of their employer’s property for the purpose of making unauthorized recordings (including images or sounds) or capturing data or other material. The bill creates a civil cause of action, allowing an employer to sue for any damages.
Click here to read the bill

NORTH DAKOTA

Statute: Animal Research Facility Damage Act
Status: 1991- Signed into law
Summary: Class B misdemeanor to enter an animal facility and use or attempt to use a camera, video recorder, or any other video or audio recording device. Violators face a jail term of 30 days.
Click here to read the law

 

What You Can Do to End Ag Gag

1) Stop ag-gag legislation through social media platforms such as Facebook, and join LCA on Twitter and Facebook to keep yourself up to date with the latest ag gag news.

2) Voice your stance against ag-gag by contacting decision makers in states where the bills are pending. Let them know that the legislation is unconstitutional and should not be passed into law.  Find your state’s representatives by typing in your home address at www.votesmart.org. They will be located under the State Legislative tab.

3) If you live in a state where an ag-gag law currently exists, contact your state legislators and demand a repeal. Go to www.votesmart.org to locate your state’s house and senate representatives.

About Last Chance for Animals

Last Chance for Animals (LCA) is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and media attention. LCA believes that animals are highly sentient creatures who exist for their own reasons independent of their service to humans; they should not be made to suffer for the latter. LCA opposes the use of animals in food and clothing production, scientific experimentation, and entertainment and promotes a cruelty-free lifestyle and the ascription of rights to non-human beings. 

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