Lawmakers in Missouri enacted 13 laws over Governor Jay Nixon’s veto last week, including two dangerous measures pushed by factory farming interests. These lawmakers should be ashamed: They continue to roll back Missouri’s oversight of factory farms at a time when oversight is needed most.
Many farmed animals in the Show Me State are confined in factory farms where they can barely move for their entire lives. Instead of addressing this problem, state lawmakers passed an “ag-gag law in 2012 criminalizing undercover animal welfare investigations and amended the state constitution in 2014 to include a “right to farm provision that makes passing new factory farm regulations more difficult.
Now, these lawmakers have returned to pass even more special rules favoring animal ag. These include a new “data-gag law that exempts potentially damning agricultural documents from disclosure under public records requirements. Lawmakers also eliminated a requirement that the state’s Clean Water Commission include members of the general public, allowing agriculture and mining interests to dominate this vital environmental agency.
Governor Nixon slammed each of these bills as a “blatant attempt to limit public oversight in favor of regulated industries and an “odious effort to hide the industry under a “veil of secrecy. By overriding the governor’s vetoes and enacting these laws, the legislature has sided with those who aim to keep Missouri’s cruel and unethical factory farming practices hidden from scrutiny, creating a safe haven for animal abuse, environmental devastation, and other criminal activity.
Fortunately, you don’t need to wait on lawmakers or industry to take action. You can help animals every time you sit down to eat by choosing a compassionate plant-based diet. Click here to find out how.