by James J. Devine
Iowa lawmakers have passed legislation that would put people in jail for catching criminals engaged in acts of animal cruelty. New Jersey should ban the purchase of Iowa-raised food in response to the Hawkeye State’s new law.
Throwing a criminal net over journalists and a range of animal-welfare, environmental, progressive and civil rights activists to head off a public relations problem for corporate agricultural interests is the wrong use of legislative authority.
All 24 Iowa Senate Republicans voted for House File 589, the intrusive ‘big government’ legislation that makes a crime out of recording a images or video of animal abuse at agribusiness facilities.
Worse yet, 16 Senate Democrats also voted for the horrific legislation while only ten Senate Democrats voted against it.
A bipartisan sell out to the corporate factory farm lobby was on full display in the Iowa as a majority of Senate Democrats joined their GOP counterparts to pass bad factory farm bills that give away special treatment to big-moneyed corporate agricultural interest groups like the Iowa Pork Producers and the Iowa Farm Bureau at the expense of everyday people and the environment.
Instead of working on bills that will benefit everyday Iowans and stop factory farms from polluting our air and water, Iowa lawmakers are opening the door for the factory farm industry to get away with murderous animal cruelty.
One of the Democrats voted against the AG Gag legislation — Senator Matt McCoy — said, “This is the way to chill the whistleblowers and to bring the cover of darkness over this and to give immunity to big agriculture so they can do whatever they please, however they please and do it with immunity.”
Governor Terry Branstad signed House File 589 on March 2, making a mockery of the state’s motto: Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.
They ought to change that to: “Our liberties we outlaw and our rights we will restrain.”
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