October 24, 2014
Whistleblower Reward Program, Tip Line Launched for Factory Farm Workers
Tools Will Facilitate Reporting of Cruelty at Factory Farms, Slaughterhouses and Livestock Auctions
A hotline for reporting cruelty and neglect on factory farms, at livestock auctions and in slaughter houses will empower employees at those facilities who have witnessed cruelty or other unlawful acts.
The Humane Society of the United States, which launched the hotline (1-888-209-7177), offers whistleblowers a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who have committed acts of cruelty to farm animals.
The HSUS will work with the United Farm Workers to distribute the hotline to workers at factory farms, slaughterhouses and livestock auctions.
The hotline was launched after agribusiness interests and their legislative allies made it virtually impossible to document cruelty on factory farms in a handful of states. Those states have passed “ag gag” bills, which criminalize undercover investigations of agricultural facilities.
Animal cruelty laws vary among states, but punching, kicking and other overt acts of violence are usually illegal. Denying adequate food, water, shelter and veterinary care to animals may lead to prosecution. Hotline callers will be assured anonymity if they desire it.
“The bleak conditions endured by animals on factory farms are often made worse by overt violence and neglect,” said Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for The HSUS. “Pigs are often beaten. Chickens are stomped on. Lame cows are left for dead. We want whistleblowers to know that help is just a phone call away.”
Media Contact: Samantha Miller: firstname.lastname@example.org, 301-258-1417