Almost thirty years ago the state of Kansas became the very first state in the union to make taking photographs or recording video footage inside of factory farms “with the intent to damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility” illegal was enacted.
This first “ag-gag” law set a precedent that swept across the United States in animal agriculture-dependent states especially. These laws unfairly target whistleblowers that speak out and show the animal abuse and horrid conditions inside of these facilities.
The United States District Court for the District of Kansas struck down almost every part of the old “ag-gag” law this week saying that it violated the First Amendment and the right to free speech.
For the past three decades since this first version of this unconstitutional law was enacted in Kansas 28 other states have attempted to pass ag-gag legislation, but luckily only nine have been successful.
Six “ag-gag” laws still continue to oppress constitutional rights in Missouri, North Dakota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Montana, and Iowa. Recent victories in Utah and Idaho in overturning these laws have been made and further challenges to these laws are currently underway.
Shy 38 Inc., Center for Food Safety, and, Hope Sanctuary represented by Public Justice, and led by the Animal Legal Defense Fund assembled a coalition of advocacy groups to jointly file a lawsuit challenging the long-standing “ag-gag” law in Kansas.
This is a gigantic victory for Animal Rights Advocates and animals themselves as the court struck down the state of Kansas’ motion to throw out the case. The court even went so far as to bar Kansas from enforcing the majority of its “ag-gag” law-making what remains toothless and unenforceable.
(ALDF) Animal Legal Defense Fund executive director Stephen Wells said in a statement:
“For 30 years, Kansas lawmakers have suppressed whistleblowers from investigating cruel conditions on factory farms with this unconstitutional law. Today’s decision is a victory for the millions of animals raised for meat on factory farms.”
The animal agriculture industry doesn’t want the public to see the truth hidden behind corrugated steel walls. They worry that seeing the truth about how animals are treated to be raised for “food” that they will no longer hand over their money and they’re right.
Mercy For Animals conducted an undercover investigation into Sparboe Farms showing footage from inside of eight separate facilities between Colorado, Minnesota, and Iowa just after Iowa’s first “ag-gag” law was enacted (it since was struck down like the others).
Sparboe Farms like many other farms made many statements claiming animal welfare was a top priority. Investigators found the bodies of hens left to decompose in cages next to other hens who were still laying eggs. Baby chicks were found stuffed into plastic bags where they were left to suffocate and many other horrors you can watch in the video below.