“Ag-gag on Steroids Approved by Arkansas Lawmakers

Arkansas is one step closer to passing a dangerous bill meant to silence animal rights activists and sweep evidence of animal abuse under the rug.

Last evening, the state senate confirmed HB 1665, an “ag-gag on steroids bill that would let factory farms and other big businesses intimidate and bankrupt whistleblowers who expose abuse and other wrongdoing in workplaces across the state.

Although the primary target of this legislation is animal rights activists who dare speak out against animal cruelty, the bill is written so broadly that it could be used by big businesses to bully almost anyone. Daycare workers who leak surveillance footage exposing child abuse, restaurant or food processing employees who speak out about tainted food, financial analysts who come forward with evidence of fraud and insider trading, and even office workers who complain about harassment or discrimination could be financially ruined—or worse, intimidated into silence—if this bill becomes law.

MFA is calling on Governor Hutchinson to veto this reckless and misguided piece of legislation.

Recent MFA undercover investigations of suppliers to Walmart and Tyson Foods, each headquartered in Arkansas, have uncovered sickening animal abuse and resulted in criminal convictions of factory farm workers and owners who were caught on camera kicking and beating animals or impaling them with spiked clubs. These investigations also led the nation’s largest food retailer to adopt a comprehensive animal welfare commitment designed to help end some of the worst forms of factory farm cruelty. But the proposed ag-gag bill aims to prevent such investigations and shield animal abusers from public scrutiny.

See what Alec Baldwin and MFA’s undercover investigators found at suppliers to Arkansas’s Tyson Foods, the nation’s biggest poultry producer.

Unsurprisingly, recent polling reveals that 75 percent of Arkansas voters oppose this kind of law. So does a broad coalition of leading state and national civil liberties, animal protection, food safety, farmworker, environmental, and other public interest groups and experts.

Governor Hutchinson needs to listen to the will of the people and veto the ag-gag bill. If you live in Arkansas, click here to leave a quick message urging the governor to veto HB 1665, which would shield animal abuse and other wrongdoing from public scrutiny. You can also leave a polite comment on the governor’s Facebook page.

Wherever you live, please leave a polite comment on the Arkansas State Tourism Facebook page, pledging that you won’t visit Arkansas if the governor signs HB 1665.

And of course, you can refuse to support the corrupt factory farming industry by moving toward a humane plant-based diet. Check out ChooseVeg.com to learn how.