Mercy For Animals joined forces with animal advocates and a farmer to help defeat recent ag-gag legislation in Texas! This is huge. In Texas, a state with significant animal agriculture interests, ag-gag bills are famously difficult to fight.
The bill could have criminalized whistleblowers for exposing animal abuse, including through undercover investigations conducted by employees. In March, Mercy For Animals testified in person before the Texas House Agriculture and Livestock Committee in opposition to the bill. We collaborated with a Texas-based farmer, who testified as well.
Whistleblowers at factory farms are imperative to exposing conditions that jeopardize animal welfare, public health, and worker safety.
— Mercy For Animals (@MercyForAnimals) March 27, 2021
The Power of the People
After testifying, we met with numerous legislators in the House who shared our concerns about the ag-gag language. We also enlisted the help of our passionate Texas-based supporters, who contacted their representatives, asking them to oppose the bill. Some of these supporters submitted letters to the editor that were published in huge cities, such as Dallas, Houston, and Austin. Animal advocates even left notes at the state capitol in their representatives’ offices and testified in hearings.
This outpouring of opposition encouraged the bill sponsor to amend the bill and remove the ag-gag language entirely. This massive win is just another example of how passionate, compassionate humans truly have the power to change the world.
What Are Ag-Gag Laws?
Ag-gag laws, which can criminalize undercover investigations, are harmful to animals, workers, and public safety. Undercover investigations are necessary to expose the horrific conditions animals often endure at farms around the world. Ag-gag laws can also prevent workers from reporting abuse that they witness, of both animals and humans, as well as food safety violations.
It is thanks to animal advocates in Texas who made their voices heard that this harmful legislation was defeated. Interested in fighting for animal protection legislation? Learn more about our government affairs work here.