May 28, 2013
Guests: Gary Haluska, Emily Meredith and Cody Carlson
In states across the country, legislators have passed or are considering passing laws that make it illegal to covertly photograph or make videotapes and audiotapes at livestock farms. Some laws even make it a crime for workers to apply for a job without disclosing their ties to animal welfare groups. In Pennsylvania, currently under consideration is House Bill 683 which would criminalize anyone who "records an image of, or sound from [an] agricultural operation" or distributes those recordings on the Internet. Animal rights activists say these laws, known as "ag-gag" laws make it difficult to conduct investigations of animal cruelty charges, food safety violations and poor working conditions and therefore prevent the public from knowing how their food is produced. Farm owners and others involved in the livestock and poultry trade counter that these undercover videos are harmful to farmers and their families and provide false narratives of what really goes on. We'll take a look at all sides of the story with our guests, Representative GARY HALUSKA who sponsored House Bill 683, EMILY MEREDITH of the Animal Agriculture Alliance which represents the interests of those in the livestock and poultry trade, and CODY CARLSON who went undercover to investigate charges of animal cruelty in several farms including one in Pennsylvania.