BEEF Daily

Carrie Underwood Gets Political On Tennessee Ag Gag Bill

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Carrie Underwood is using her celebrity status to attempt to derail Tennessee HB 1191/SB1248, The Livestock Cruelty Prevention Act.

It’s no secret that animal rights groups have hours and hours of video in their arsenal of alleged animal cruelty that they could release at any time. The tapes could be decades old, and the perpetrators could be employees of the animal rights group, but regardless of when these are released, the clips depicting presumed animal abuse do serious damage to the livestock industry.

These videos are often used to prosecute and/or persecute farmers and ranchers -- even if the abuse wasn’t done by the individual. As a result, several states have passed “ag gag” laws, including North Dakota, Kansas, Montana, Missouri and Utah, with similar measures pending in nine other states. The laws require individuals who record cruelty toward farm animals to report the incident and turn in the evidence to law enforcement officials within 48 hours of the abuse.

Many say that agriculture has something to hide by pushing forward these laws, but in reality, it simply protects animals from prolonged abuse, and farmers and ranchers from being accused of something that may have been caught on tape years ago. This law helps to protect our nation’s food supply and offers a measure of protection to the individuals who own private livestock businesses. 

A Closer Look: Do You Support Ag Gag Laws?

In Tennessee, The Livestock Cruelty Prevention Act (HB 1191/SB1248) has passed in the state legislature and is now awaiting the signature of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. The measure stops animal rights activists from videotaping and editing videos to produce ugly abuse scenes on tape and sending these videos to the media, which in turn negatively impacts the agricultural industry.

This measure doesn’t prevent farmers and ranchers in the state from being transparent; instead, it prohibits animal rights activists from getting hired on these operations under false pretenses.

Whether you live in Tennessee or not, I encourage you to call or write Gov. Haslam today and tell him to sign the bill into law. He can be reached at 615-741-2001, or email bill.haslam@tn.gov.

carrie underwood ag gag bill against country roots

Photo by Mat Hayward / Shutterstock.com

Apparently, country music star Carrie Underwood, a big supporter of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) has a big beef with this bill.

According to Taste of Country, “Underwood is furious about a new bill that has passed in Tennessee — and she’s not afraid to say so in public. The ‘Blown Away’ singer took to social media Thursday (April 18) to denounce the Tennessee state legislature for passing the so-called ‘Ag Gag’ bill, which many critics say will help factory farms get away with abusing animals.

“Shame on TN lawmakers for passing the Ag Gag bill,”Underwood posted to Facebook. “If Gov. Bill Haslam signs this, he needs to expect me at his front door. Who’s with me?”

“In an episode of VH1′s ‘Behind the Music,’ Underwood revealed that she became a vegetarian as a little girl after watching her parents castrate calves on the family farm.

“I couldn’t eat those precious cows — they were my babies!” the singer said. “I bottle-fed some of them.”

Underwood continues to support animal rights extremist groups like HSUS, which would happily put her parents’ ranch in Oklahoma out of business. It’s a shame that, once again, celebrities in Hollywood and Nashville will influence legislation in areas they are not qualified to weigh in on. I suggest Underwood get back to her singing career, and leave the agriculture and politics alone.

What are your thoughts on this bill? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

By the way, if you’re in the Fargo, ND, area on April 25th, join me on campus at North Dakota State University (NDSU), where I will be speaking on this topic and other beef industry news at 6 p.m. in the Family Life Center, Room 124. Thanks to NDSU’s Saddle & Sirloin for the invitation. Hope to see you there!

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 62

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 22, 2013

Any American who votes and pays taxes has a right to weigh in on the laws our elected officials pass. Ms. Underwood is no exception. One needn't be a vegetarian to nonetheless wish for decent treatment of our food animals. There is no excuse for some of the cruel practices like gestation crates and packing chickens into cages so small they can't move. That's not how they did it on my great-grandpa's farm. Then again, those were just regular folks trying to get by, not big agribusiness obsessing with making every dollar they can.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 23, 2013

I respect your opinion as beef advocates-- but the sponsor of the Bill basically told Carrie to "shut up and sing" which is ignorance at its finest and regresses back to Dixie Chicks days if cd burning and hatred. Unreal. Carrie Underwood is a college graduate - with honors- magna cum laude- and she has every right to speak on this. It is not like she is attacking the President or American values. She disagrees with the Bill and is defending animals. I feel the hate she is getting from some extremists is uncalled for.

Carrie is a farmers daughter and member if the FFA. She loves farmers. Her issue is not with farmers-- just animsl abuse.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 23, 2013

Ignorance at it's finest is your assumption that Carrie loves farmers - simply aligning herself with the HSUS tells me that she has absolutely no respect for the American Farmer whatsoever. The sad thing about celebrities using their fame to further a cause is that there are so many people who do not think for themselves and blindly agree with anything the celeb says because she gets to wear pretty dresses and has beautiful hair. Get real - and get your own opinion. Everyone is certainly entitled to their own, but don't let someone with a skewed view of agriculture tell you what yours should be. Something tells me Carrie's parents slaughtered her favorite calf and she's never forgiven them for it - she needs to take that up with them and leave the American farmer alone. The HSUS is the biggest scam going - people donate their hard earned money and the CEO of that company is living the high life, less than $.01 of every dollar donated actually benefits an animal - any animal. So Carrie may be a highly educated woman but she's ignorant of the facts here, to me that means she should keep her mouth shut and just sing.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

she does need to shut up and sing, althought we have not bought anything of hers since to FFA ordeal a few years ago. No she represents HSUS, wow thats all we need to know,

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 14, 2013

Less than .01of every dollar donated goes to the animal? In the interest of journalistic integrity just wondering where that fact is cited?

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

Carrie Underwood needs to realize where she grew up and how her parents made a living. People are so ignorant as to where food actually comes from. Underwood thinks that just because she is a celebrity (who may I remind you was a nobody a few years ago till American Idol), she can influence laws and people for her own personal agenda. I agree, shut up and just sing. Even if they are songs about kicking some guy's ass.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 30, 2013

Your post is dishonest on it's face. Carrie was being disrespectful by "shaming" decent people for trying to the right thing. Her tweet was ignorant and without merit. She can offer up her opinion in a respectful way. If she doesn't, she deserves the same treatment the hate mongering Dixie Chicks got.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 23, 2013

Not everyone in the Ag business is doing it for "every dollar". It is a way of life and we love it. I don't believe in animal cruelty but why should an organization that's trying to get rid of farmers and ranchers completely get to hold the tapes and alter them and then use it against agriculture as a whole. That commercial where they are turning the cow back over with the skid steer and calling it abuse is the complete opposite. The cow probably got laying down on the wrong side of a slant and couldn't get up. What was the farmer supposed to do? Let her lay there and die a long agonizing death. Heads up people these animals can weigh a ton and one man is not going to be able to push her up right to get her up without assistance. As far as CU. she should be ashamed of herself for disgracing her family and their way of life. It is sad to end up eating the animals that you take care of but God put them on this earth for us to endure and grow. That's why we say grace and thank God for his blessings and use the whole animal instead of waist it. I wonder if she knows every product that is in her makeup she puts on. Most of it contains animal by products. I'm hoping that she is secretly trying to overtake PETA's stupidity by acting like one of them and then after making her way to the top telling them how it is. God help her if she really is that stupid. A double blow for agriculture. Not only is she a spokesperson but she knows better. I really think country music stations should stop supporting her. They did it with Katie Lang when she said she was a vegetarian. I think country music needs to bring back the country.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

Yeah and if we go back to the way your great grandfather raised food all you city people will starve, there is no way to produce enough food to feed the world with 100 year old farming practices!!

Ed Fowler (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

Instead of taking a defensive position, why not publicize the financial facts about PETA and let folks know exactly how much the management is paid and how much money actually goes to help animals? The last report I read over 95% of their donated funds go to the folks who run it, the benefit to animals about 1%.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

Dear Anonymous, I do have a beef for someone to not use their name in stating their views. I am sure your grandparents did not put any thing in cages as they did not know how it could increase their bottom line. Even small farmers understand the importance of using cages in certain circumstances. You just play the big farmer card and not get interested in why they do something. Do some reading get informed before you join the dumb ones in giving money to Peta who really do not spend it on the plight of the animal just on their business and excecutives. No one wants crowed cages but they do want tol protect Sows from laying on their babies, Chickens from pecking their own to death. Janet A. Jensen

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 25, 2013

I agree with your statement about any American has the right to weigh in. In the rest of your statement you list gestion crates as cruel. You must not know why those crates are used, its to keep the large pigs from eating the little pigs.

My neighbor’s kid has four pigs for his 4-H fair project this year and last weekend one of them eat the smallest one of the group. Pigs will eat other pigs if you let them.

Jack@MAQS.net

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 27, 2013

Gestation crates are for the safety of the mother and the babies...if you ever pig out a sow with her hormones raging...it would be easily noticed...if you ever witness the sow biting her babies head off then eating it then you know gestation crates are for the safety of the mother and babies...it is always best to have experience before talking...

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 6, 2013

You are referring to Farrowing Crates - Gestation crates are something completely different. The two are often confused.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 27, 2013

Obsessed with making every dollar they can? Right. I'm pretty sure you mean trying to keep up with feeding an ever growing population.

SO*PO Otto (not verified)
on May 8, 2013

The cruel practices are not always the fault of the farmer. And when has government intervention ever helped anyone. You and Carry can suck on my beef steak

ICAS North America (not verified)
on Apr 23, 2013

It's important that people get together and rally against Ag Gag laws at the federal level. We all know what happened when we left issues of social justice like slavery to the states. Worker rights, consumer protections, and animal rights are all federal issues. SIGN & SHARE the FEDERAL PETITION against Ag Gag laws at http://wh.gov/M6yq #AgGagBad

Carolyn (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

Read the bill - "As introduced, requires a person who records cruelty to animals as committed against livestock to report such violation and submit any unedited photographs or video recordings to law enforcement authorities within 24 hours of the photograph's or recording’s creation. " Looks like it stops animal abuse, not hides it. The Supreme Court of the United States has expressly held that the First Amendment does not guarantee the right to gather news information on private property in a private area. See e.g. Houchins v. KQED, Inc., 438 U.S. 1, 9 (1978). The Court has stated that newsgatherers have "[N]o special privilege to invade the rights and liberties of others." Cohen v. Cowles Media Co., 501 U.S. 663, 669 (1991). Numerous federal courts have held the First Amendment is not a license to trespass, to steal, or to intrude by electronic means into the precincts of another's home or office. A.A. Dieteman v. Time, Inc., 449 F.2d 245, 249 (9th Cir. 1971) Under existing law, the news media may gather news from a public area using a regular lens-not a telephoto lens. The provisions of this bill don't change that

Mathena (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

Read the bill? Don;t you know people don't read bills anymore, they just good to their local animal rights wacko and see what they have to say.

Proud Animal Scientist (not verified)
on Apr 23, 2013

If you do not know about animal agriculture then perhaps you shouldn't weigh in and yes that includes Carrie Underwood and the others that have replied to this post.
I personally work in the industry and pride myself on giving excellent animal care! And yes, my sows are kept in clean, comfortable gestation stalls where they have their own space but are still able to have animal interaction with neighbors.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 23, 2013

So let me get this right, on one hand you note in the article that Underwood is not qualified to weigh in on this subject and on the other hand you ask readers of this blog to offer thoughts, comments and opinions. Now how hypocritical is that? Is there a certain standard that one must pass to be considered credible to weigh in on this subject. I would imagine from your one-sided article that you would consider those opinions that agree with your beliefs to be qualified while those that disagree to be discarded.

on Apr 24, 2013

Why are "Anonymous" allowed to post? If they want to make statements like that, then they should have to take ownership of their comments, and register at this site. I think "Anonymous" posts should not be allowed.

We are a fat and spoiled society that is critical of all aspects of agriculture, because they never have to worry about having food available. If the grocery stores shelves were empty for about two weeks, perspectives would change.

SD Rancher (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

Here, Here! Let those who criticize animal agriculture give it a whirl. We're out EVERY day, rain, snow, sleet, wind, you name it taking care of our animals and our land. Like every other family, if we're not responsible with our resources, we don't have money to pay the bills or buy the groceries. We also have to feed our families and put our children through school. Those who criticize what we do need to realize that we are just "regular peolpe trying to get by" as most ag businesses in this country are family owned and operated.

Carolyn (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

First of all, it is not ag gag - this is a term that like "factory farming" does nothing to inform the public but everything to sell news. It is a farmland protection bill. How many of you have read it? It requires anyone who records cruelty to animals to report it to law enforcement - how can you be against that if you love animals??? Only if your real agenda is to edit video tapes so you can put them on the media and ask for donations......rather than stopping animal abuse.

Mike G (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

I've been a beef producer for forty years and I am proud of the way I and almost every fellow producer I know farms. I also believe in the freedom of speech and I think that ag gag laws are counter-productive--it is better to deal with the occasional video of abuse than it is to be associated with the repression of speech. Should we have a similar law for sexual abuse of children--do you want to protect abusers from being exposed to something that night have happened years ago? It may not always be comfortable, but laws are not the way to prevent negative publicity.

K. Holzer (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

I agree with a previous comment concerning the fact that Carrie's allignment with HSUS makes her null & void. If she gave a dang about her background, or actually wanted to makea differance, she would work with someone besides these profit minded animal rights hypocrites. And maybe anonymous should research why farrowing crates are used- and then come to the realization that if we did everything like Grandpa, the world would starve. Boils my blood that the animal is being placed above the human. The only way around this BS is education. So invite your city friends out for a wknd of calving, feeding, haying, branding, take them salting, anything to get some understanding & dirt under the nails. Because it's real obvious that just reading about it isn't working (although I aplaud your efforts, Amanda!). Which is funny since people seem to believe every other damn thing they read on the internet! Time to go check on calves after the latest round of snow. Have a great day!

shaun evertson (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

1. If food animal producers are guilty by association with animal abusers, then performers are guilty by association with all the dark characters who inhabit their milieu.

2. Those who collect and hide evidence of animal abuse should be treated exactly as those who hide evidence in any crime.

Nebraska farm/ranch wife (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

Well, at this point we are a free country, and with that being said I don't feel threatened by what Miss Underwood has to say. We do have freedom of speech still at this point and she is allowed to express her view point about issues and topics that come up. Now it makes me sad that she is one of the top country artists with an absolutely beautiful voice that I will not listen too unless forced. I don't support her business because she does not support ours. That is also a freedom. The right to patronize any business in the US with out being ostracized for it. But I do agree with the bill being passed and here is why. I have a real big problem with hypocrisy. At this point all those videos that HSUS, PETA and other affiliated groups record are just plain trash if they are not going to use them accurately. They try to use it as blackmail and leverage to barter with the agriculture industry, and decimate the character of the agriculture industry on a whole as one big horrible freak show. The other problem that I have is you have somebody running a camera watching these said horrors be committed and they don't have the balls, gumption, guts, fortitude, integrity, nobility, etc. to step up and either confront the person committing said horrors or immediately go to the local authorities and report the abuse right away. They stand back in the corner and watch or practically participate in the abuse of the animal in order to gain their blackmail. In my book they have just become the accomplice. No different then a guy videotaping a woman getting raped and then going home to watch it at their convenience but not going to the local authority to report it. It is just plane wrong. This bill will help protect agriculture sure, but it will also force animal rights activists to report what they see as a crime right away to the authorities and not just use it as blackmail to hold over the Ag Industry's head. Hope it passes.

HamIAm (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

No matter what you believe on this issue, it is really bad strategy for these bills to be proposed. It plays into every pre-conception that the public may have about abuse on farms. If a farm has nothing to hide, it has nothing to hide. If these laws pass, I guarantee the next step will be civil disobediance, show trials of "farmworkers" trying to halt abuse, and further solidifying of public outrage. How about working to STOP abuse, instead of working to stop exposing it!

shaun evertson (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

Tell me again, what is it you do every day to care for your livestock? What, no livestock? Hmmm. If you're not part of the solution, you might be part of the problem. Particularly if you think staging/hiding evidence of abuse for political gain is appropriate. I'm just sayin'...

W.E. (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

I agree with Mike G., SDrancher and several others. If we are doing anything to make our animals miserable while they are producing food for us, we have not held up our end of the bargain. As for Carrie Underwood's unrealistic view of those animals, she needs to visit a few ranches that graze cattle or at least listen to Allan Savory's TED talk that appeared in March, 2013. Grazing animals can literally save the world. They can't all be pets. Most of them need to become food. Domesticated livestock exist for that reason, and to fulfill the law of return. We need only one male animal to breed ten to fifty cows. That leaves a lot of steers that can be grazed on the land to become nutritious high-protein beef. If domesticated ruminants are allowed to graze, as they have for at least seven thousand years or more, they can naturally renew the fertility of the land that the vegans like Carrie Underwood need to produce organic vegetables. Otherwise, the gardeners who support the world's vegans will need to fertilize with something akin to ammonium nitrate, that chemical that blew up West, Texas and Boston. That stuff has literally been waging war on the soils of this country since World War II, burning up organic matter, destroying the trillions of living microbes that make soil alive, healthy, fertile and able to absorb rainfall when it finally comes. When we use chemical fertilizers instead of manure to renew the land, we have interrupted the law of return, and all kinds of imbalances ensue. When we spray down all of our fields with and destroy all that is green with chemicals, we make the ground impervious, so that it erodes more easily. Grazing cattle, if managed carefully in a way that allows forages to rest and re-grow, fertilize and re-invigorate the grass, ensuring that the land can absorb precipitation. The weather cycles will be more stable with fewer extremes if we keep more of the land covered with growing grass and trees all year long. We will need to grow fewer acres of corn, which currently require ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia, if we take the cattle out of the feedlots and return them to the grasslands. If we don’t change our paradigm and do it fast, we could be well on our way to another dust bowl.

bmw (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

In ND we've had an absolutely horrible spring calving season. Every rancher I know was out in the blizzards (yes, it's been numerous storms) trying to keep as many calves as possible alive. They were out there in blinding storms, trying to walk in 3' to 4' snowdrifts, carrying calves to shelters, without regard to their own well-being. All that mattered to them was keeping calves alive. If the people from PETA, HSUS or any other animal rights groups would have adopted just one rancher for just one storm to help save animal lives, they might have some credibility. I have not heard anything or read anything that they have offered, because I know I would have called for help. Not just for myself, but my neighbors too. Ranching is one of the most noble professions & anyone that abuses any livestock is on the same level as the animal rights activists in my mind. We put our own lives in danger to protect our livestock. Now lets put a little more emphasis on how people treat one another & let the ranchers do what they do best--feed the world with some of the most nutritous food available.

California ranch native (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

I've been a livestock producer for over 50 years, observed over the years how the different animal rights groups have targeted different segments of Ag and assulted them. I have been offended by the manner in which celeberties over the years have got on the soap box for the different radical animal rights groups and literly conducted themselves as if the farm/ranch community have no interest in taking excellent care of their animals, which is exactly the opposite in real life.I have boycotted any and all music by CU as I feel she is a turncoat of the worst kind and find it offensive any time I hear that she claims having a ranch back ground. I liken her to a person that grows up in a lawful home and then becomes a drug dealer because it is profitable, not caring as to the real significance of their actions on other peoples lives. Further I have been the target of a criminal situation for my livestock because some one with money wanted what I had and used a over zealous Assitant District Attorney who has known ties to HSUS to acheive their goals.Any one that has been the actual target of these Animal Rights groups knows how far they will deceive,ly, cheat and manipulate the truth to get what they want--There is no end to what they will do to progress their agenda. This bill will help stop some of the staged situations that has happened in the past, but I am afraid it will not stop what goes on every day by the groups like HSUS and PETA.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 24, 2013

While I disagree with her on this issue, the fact is that she does have experience and knowledge in the area. Being a singer does not make her opinion more important but it does not mean it's any less important. Disagree with her if you want to but "shut up and sing" sounds to me like "If you disagree with me, you have no right to an opinion"

on Apr 24, 2013

have you SEEN the tennessee walking horse undercover videos? this is why we need to stop the ag gag bill:

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2012/05/horse_soring_in...
=
in a perfect world, that horse would be able to grab the stick and give the man a taste of his own medicine. how many of you who work with animals think this kind of abuse should be protected?

on Apr 25, 2013

I just watched it! Is is bad YES... is it a priority in our world today? NO I have seen humans in much worse shape taking drugs, abusing the system, children starving, children being molested and all the rest. I love Carrie but agree its ok for her to voice her opinion but as far as trying to influence our leaders CELEBRITIES really need to keep it to themselves UNLESS they have educated sincerely qualified reasons to do so. Which from what I know of most of them they DO NOT. I was raised as a ranch daughter and now a rancher as well. I LOVE my animals.. ALL my animals and treat them as good as I know how. I like Carrie have bottle fed calves, goats, lambs and more. I loved all of them....but realize they are put on the earth for a purpose and that is to feed the human souls of this world. We try to give them the best life while we can. Should abusers who are caught get fined or fired... yes. But life must go on. She and others with her fame really need to get behind so many other issues that plague our America and world.

Ashleylynne (not verified)
on Apr 27, 2013

Let me guess, you are some uneducated right-wing, pro corporate ag, religious and bible-hugging "farmer" from Kansas. Let me educate YOU -- Humans (tracing back to the earliest origin of our ancestry), were NOT meant to consume meat of any kind - look at our jaws, fingernails, digestive systems, etc...we were intended to be herbivores for a reason. Another FACT, animals were not put on the earth for humans to consume, although that's what the book you cling too preaches. As for starving children, here's any idea -- let's start promoting birth control and other forms of population control. Personally, its not my problem is someone is using drugs or a parent can't feed their family. However, I do find an inherent responsibility to stick up for the defenseless and voiceless, whom are continuously exploited for human benefit. Humans can entirely exist on a plant based diet, its good for ALL (enivornment, people, animals, etc.).

Sorry "farmer Jane," but if you believe in heaven I suggest you begin to value ALL life --not claim superiority over our four legged friends that you so "selflessly" care for.

Savanna (not verified)
on Jul 8, 2013

So if humans are supposed to be vegetarians, why do we have k9s and incisors and are mono gastric, non ruminants? Just wondering?

on Apr 24, 2013

apparently this board is censored too...my comments have not appeared.

jeff s scmi cattleman (not verified)
on Apr 25, 2013

WHOO did you read the text with that video? It admits to filming over "several weeks" in 2011,then Keith Dane calls for congress to "close loopholes" that allow this sort of abuse to continue. While i have not read it and i assume you have not either, the people on here who say they have, claim that the main purpose of the law is to require prompt reporting of abuse. So its my understanding that not passing this law would do more to protect, and prolong this kind of abuse. The point being made on here is people like yourself, and CU, make statements based on only partial knowledge of the facts, and way more emotion. Your second post is a perfect example.

on Apr 25, 2013

jeff, the purpose of the bill is to prevent the ability to prove a longer term pattern of abuse. if jackie mcconnell had only been recorded beating his horse once , he could have claimed it was an isolated incident, he lost his temper, etc. at most, he would have been fined. after this evidence was brought to light- yes, filmed over weeks - his horses were rescued and he was prosecuted.

"Ag Gag bills prevent the undercover filming of animal abuse and will place anyone who disobeys the law behind bars."

even the author of the article above, amanda radke, says of the TN bill: "The measure stops animal rights activists from videotaping and editing videos to produce ugly abuse scenes on tape and sending these videos to the media.."

anyone who tries to stifle free speech dishonors those who died for the right. most of the so-called ag gag bills are efforts to protect the abusers.

why don't we make it illegal to conduct uncercover surveillance of thieves and drug dealers while we're at it?

Nebraska farm/ranch wife (not verified)
on May 8, 2013

whoo- I can't tell if you are trying to make an educated argument and lack to education to do so or if you are just throwing irrelevant ideas into the air. If the video was taped over several weeks then the 1st incident would have been reported with in the 1st 48 hours according to the bill. Bam it is on record with the proper authority. May be argued at that time as an isolated incident yes. 2nd beating being reported w/ in 48 hours of it's occurrence. Bam again it is officially on record.... 3rd beating reported again w/ in 48 hours of its occurrence. Do you see where I am going with this. It is about reporting the abuse when it happens not when you damn well think it is of benefit you or the person running the video camera. It needs to be a benefit to the animal. Report it as it occurs. Also to address the issue of editing the footage... This should really be a no brainer but I will explain it to you anyway. It is called "tampering with evidence" which is not a particularly legal practice. You can not twist evidence to portray something different then what it is. The video needs to be submitted in its original format to be a nonbiased piece of evidence in a crime case. This bill is not to stifle free speech or a disrespect to those who died serving our country. It is enforcing the timely reporting of unlawful or harmful acts of violence to the proper authorities so the problem can be properly addressed and fixed if need be. It is also not a matter or making undercover surveillance of thieves and drug dealers illegal either because the proper authorities have reasonable cause for suspicion to watch those individuals closely to catch them in the act of crime to then go through the proper channels of authority and judicial system to prosecute them of their crime. I do not support animal cruelty. I do not believe that it is right to beat an animal, but I do believe that we all need to keep our heads about us and use common sense. There is a right to privacy, and I think that also needs to be respected. We all know that there are a lot of abused and beaten people in the US but does that give a government or a group of people the right to set up surveillance in private homes just to make sure no abuse it taking place. I think not. Do we need to open up our private homes to inspectors to interview all members of a house hold to investigate for abuse. Absolutely not unless there have been proper reports issued to the proper authorities in a timely manner to ensue the investigation by the proper department. There needs to be checks and balances with in the system. This bill is only forcing the animal rights groups that offer up these videos to do it in a timely and truthful manner so that it may be addressed and taken care of right away and not 5 years later.

on Apr 25, 2013

I think it is extremely sad that so many people and children have no idea where their food comes from and that they don't take the time to get to know the people that God has chosen to help feed the world.Are there some bad apples in the bunch,, of course just like any other profession but most are very good hard working people. They respect the land, their animals, their families, their neighbors and their communities. The problem with animal rights activist is most of them were born and raised on concrete and they have no idea why are what the purpose is of many things farmers and ranchers do. What many of you might not know is Carrie U was also along with Willie Nelson and others responsible for getting the Horse Slaughter Houses in the U.S. shut down a few years ago. My husband and I raise horses and love and respect these animals as much as anyone alive and we have thankfully after 20 years only had to send a couple of horses to the slaughter house. It is a sad thing to have to do but there is a need for it at times. The Slaughter houses in the US put the animals down quickly and treated them humanly. As Underwood and Willie pat themselves on their backs for a job well done for stopping the inhuman slaughter of horses in the US, hundreds of horses are being sent across the border into Mexico where they experience a horrible death, most of the time not dying instantly and suffering. How do I know this the trucks go right by my house every week. So good job Carrie and Willie you really did a wonderful thing. Sad thing about it I don't imagine either one of them took the time to think about what the outcome of shutting down the human slaughter houses would have on the horses what they have done in their fight to save the horses is made it much much worse for them.Its great to have a cause and to stand up for what you believe in, but when you do you need to be responsible if that cause makes things worse. Carrie U has many followers and fans it would be nice if she would use her voice to discourage other singers from promoting songs about violence, drugs, alcohol she could make a big difference in that area.

on Apr 25, 2013

westTX,

please do not generalize about those concerned with the humane treatment of animals. I am not affiliated with any group....I am simply concerned with this bill for a number of reasons....nor am I a vegetarian. yesterday alone I bought pork, beef, veal and sweet italian sausage!!

I have the utmost respect for the family farms and those who work them. I pay a little extra to buy milk in glass bottles from a local dairy. (the cream clots in the bottleneck!) I buy produce when possible from the local Amish who use sustainable farming methods. I buy eggs produced by free range chickens, and so on...

in the penn state child abuse scandal we saw how an institution tried to cover up wrongdoing to save its reputation...and you will find people who defend that. if the food industry succeeds in hushing up those who try to expose unsafe and inhumane practices, the end result will be that huge numbers of people *will* assume that they should give up eating meat.

the ethical thing is to confront the problems and assure the public that those practices are not condoned. when I hear about incidents like the slaughterhouse where a calf was skinned alive, I want to vomit. if I thought that was commonplace, I'd give up meat for good.

as far as Carrie, I have no opinion either way. and Willie...well, he's done a lot of good with Farm Aid. all I know is that I think this bill is a big mistake for consumers AND producers. if you're not doing anything wrong, there's nothing to fear from transparency.

on Apr 25, 2013

WHOO I apologize if my post came across as generalizing anyone my point was that many of these people and groups get on the band wagon about an issue but they don't research or take the time to think what the long term outcome of that decision might cause.Yes Willie did do a lot for the farmers and I am grateful for that as many of my family members are farmers but he made a decision without thinking long term and now the situation is much worse and where is he to fix it ? As far as the slaughterhouse where a calf was skinned alive I agree that is sick and should be stopped.I have no idea why anyone would even do such a thing. I haven't seen the video but I wonder where that was done because I can tell you I don't know of any slaughterhouses that would even accept a calf,why well think what a slaughterhouse is for, what would they do with a baby calf ? So please I will not generalize you if you will not generalize all slaughterhouses! But I do know no rancher would ever condone that being done either.And yes if this is being done whoever is doing it needs to be shutdown.Slaughterhouses in the US have very strict guidelines and USDA inspector's they have to answer to are they will shut them down. I think the problem these days is pictures and video can be so easily manipulated and yes there are groups that would do that to have the industry shut down I'm not saying this video of the calf is not real but going back to what you said in your post "if I thought that was commonplace, I'd give up meat for good" well of course you would and so would many other people. And that is why this bill is important, not to protect the people that are doing wrong they need to be held accountable,but to protect the ones that are doing right.If you are worried about your meat, you can buy it from a small family owned meat processor. There are many of them all over the US.

on Apr 25, 2013

westTX, thx for your reply. I could not bring myself to watch the video, but it's out there. here's one account:

"Release of the new video footage followed a preliminary release of the investigation on Friday after state and federal officials shut down the operations of Bushway Packing, Inc. in Grand Isle, Vt., and launched a thorough investigation into the abuse. The facility slaughters days-old male dairy calves—many so young that their umbilical cords still hang from their bodies—for so-called "bob veal."

In one scene, a worker attempts to skin a calf who is still alive, directly in front of a USDA inspector. This government official tells the worker, on hidden camera, that if another USDA inspector saw this, the plant would be shut down, but he allows the abuse to continue. In another scene, the slaughter plant's co-owner, who has claimed in press reports that he had no knowledge of cruel treatment at his facility, is shown shocking downed calves with electric prods in futile attempts to force them to stand. Prodding one calf to stand up, he says to the animal, "There ain't nothing wrong with you, sh*t box." At one point he jokes that one of the staggering calves "looks like you on a Friday night," referring to the USDA inspector, who laughs at the co-owner's joke."
-
if and when investigations are stopped - and this is the clear intent of the ag-gag bills - you will see a sharp decline in the demand for meat products.

in both this case and the horse training video, one documented incident is not enough to bring the criminals to justice. this bill makes it impossible to prove a *pattern* of abuse. similar bills in other states will make it illegal for employees to record any abuse at all.

gloria eighmey (not verified)
on Apr 26, 2013

Sure. Like they edited the videos of the Tennessee walking horse trainer that was recently prosecuted and convicted for abuse and breaking the law in soring of horses feet huh? REALLY. With out this undercover video it would have been impossible to show, prove or convict. Its nothing more then giving a license to torture and criminalizing the the attempt to expose it .

on Apr 26, 2013

gloria, fyi: this week another walking horse trainer had 19 horses seized. this one sat on the 'ethics' comittee of the walking horse association. he had been cited 15 times before for violations of the horse protection act.

“Authorities said they discovered horses visibly in pain and several barely able to stand,” Bachman said.

soring plus bolts driven into their hooves...

but yeah, let's turn the whistleblowers into criminals and let the abusers go about business as usual.

it's no coincidence that the sponsor of the TN bill, dolores gresham, represents the district in which jackie mcconnell has his stables.

email the governor and ask him to veto
HB 1248

bill.haslam@tn.gov

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 28, 2013

If a farmer is not abusing animals, then he/she should not be worried about ANY footage taken on their farm. Period. I work with local farmers in Tennessee and they are proud of their farms, love their animals, and encourage people to visit their farms and photograph to their hearts content. If a farmer supports the Ag-Gag bill, you should assume they do not care about their animals and the rights of other people. They care about making another dollar.

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