Raleigh, N.C. — The Humane Society of the United States is joining People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals as the latest organization to launch a video protest of the so-called “ag-gag” bill, which would curb the use of undercover video to film animal cruelty at meat processing facilities and big factory farms.
The organization has created a television advertisement, which launches Tuesday, calling on politicians and the North Carolina Chamber to stop the bill because it would criminalize undercover investigations and violate freedoms of speech and the press. Senate Bill 648 is not on a list of measures that remain eligible for consideration this session, but it is possible the language could find its way into another measure.
“Rather than trying to prevent animal cruelty and food safety problems, this bill shows that the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s intent is to keep Americans in the dark. Undercover investigations expose abuses that would otherwise remain hidden behind closed barn doors,” Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for the HSUS, said in a statement.
Last week, PETA released a video featuring “meat-eating conservative Republican” Mary Matalin advocating a similar message.
Opponents of the legislation say it would prohibit investigations that uncover examples of animal abuse and the like. For example, a 2011 hidden-video investigation led to the conviction of workers and the state's top poultry veterinarian. Under this bill, the worker who made those video tapes could be subject to prosecution.