April 27, 2013
Dangerous Anti-Whistleblower “Ag Gag” Bill Fails in Indiana
The Humane Society of the United States Praises Legislature
The Indiana legislature refused to pass S.B.373, a bill aimed at criminalizing whistleblowers who expose animal abuse, unsafe working conditions, environmental destruction and other illegal and unethical activities on industrial operations. The move earned praise from The Humane Society of the United States.
“Clearly the intent of SB373 was to protect animal agribusiness from public scrutiny by criminalizing whistleblowers and those who expose animal abuse on industrial operations,” said Erin Huang, Indiana state director for The HSUS. “We applaud Indiana’s legislature for recognizing the folly of this dangerous bill and urge lawmakers in states with similar bills pending to follow Indiana's lead and reject them.”
S.B.373 would have criminalized videographers who exposed inhumane and often illegal activity on factory farms while shielding abusers from prosecution and keeping the public at arm’s length. The bill failed to pass in the last day of the session after being pulled for consideration by the House after a heated debate. Constituents had raised concerns over the bill’s threats to First Amendment rights, food safety, animal welfare and workers’ protection.
Whistleblowing employees have played a vital role in exposing animal abuse, unsafe working conditions, and environmental problems on industrial farms. Instead of working to prevent these abuses from occurring, the agribusiness industry has been working to prevent people from finding out about such problems by pushing anti-whistleblower bills.
Media Contact: Anna West, firstname.lastname@example.org, 240-751-2669