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Martin Matheny
Athens, GA

This year, Iowa legislators are considering a bill which would impose a penalty of up to ten years in jail for documenting cruelty to livestock without permission. What this means is an end to undercover investigations by animal welfare organizations, as well as by whistle-blowers within factory farms and slaughterhouses.

It would mean no more investigations like the one done by Mercy for Animals at Hy-Line International in Spencer, Iowa. That 2009 investigation blew the cover off Hy-Line, revealing that male chicks were being thrown into a grinder and killed within 24 hours of being born.

Organizations like the Iowa Federation of Humane Societies, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, and the American Civil Liberties Union are lining up to lobby Iowa legistors to vote no on this bill. Join them and tell Iowa's House and Senate to vote no on SF 431.

Stephanie Feldstein (Editor)

The Senate is attempting to work on a compromise that would only target animal activists who get jobs at factory farms "under false pretenses." It shouldn't matter who obtains the footage of violations -- there is no compromise when it comes to animal abuse and consumer protection. Tell the Senate to reject this bill in any form!

March 24, 2011

Iowans Say, "Criminalize Animal Abuse, Not Those Who Expose It."  By Nathan Runkle

As pro-factory farm legislators in Iowa work to pass laws that would criminalize whistle-blowers and shield factory farms from public scrutiny, Iowans are coming out in force against these outrageous bills. A few days ago, the Des Moines Register ran an editorial titled "Reporting Facts Not A Crime," stating, "This restraint of free speech cannot be squared with either the U.S. or the Iowa constitutions."

The editorial continues, "The government should not have the power to penalize anyone for publishing or distributing information on issues of public concern. The law should allow the people to see what happens in these facilities and to judge for themselves whether what goes on is right or wrong."

Luckily, most people agree. According to a recent survey, the majority of Iowans oppose these ludicrous bills. But that may not be enough to stop them from becoming law. Please take a moment to fill out this form and contact Iowa's legislators to politely urge them to vote against this dangerous effort to protect factory farmers from public scrutiny. If this proposed legislation does pass, it will set a dangerous precedent that would allow factory farms to operate in the shadows with impunity, while threatening human health, the environment and animal welfare.

PETITION LETTER  (Click on the widget and sign)

Do Not Shut the Doors on Factory Farm Accountability


Recently, I learned on change.org that you and your colleagues are considering SF 431, a bill which could impose a prison sentence of up to ten years on anyone documenting animal cruelty in livestock operations.

In recent years, Americans have been horrified by the images of cruelty (and in many cases, illegal acts) coming from undercover investigations and whistle-blowers. If SF 431 becomes law, unscrupulous livestock operations are shielded from accountability, and Americans are kept in the dark.

Livestock operations which operate within the bounds of the law should have nothing to fear and nothing to hide. Only the bad actors, the ones who flout laws like the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, would be protected under SF 431, and that's a price no consumer should have to accept.

Please stand up for accountability and vote no on SF 431.

[Your name]

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