Guest Blog by Ann Church, ASPCA Senior Director of Government Relations. Ann Church is a longtime animal advocate. She has worked for the U.S. Senate and has more than 20 years’ experience fighting for humane legislation.
I feel a cold shiver go through me when I think about what could happen to millions of cows, chickens, pigs and other farm animals. The Iowa Legislature is close to enactment of legislation that will protect animal abusers while incarcerating those who expose cruelty. Because big agribusiness is tired of having the inhumane treatment of animals exposed, it is choosing to trample on the rights of the public and media instead of taking steps to treat animals decently.
Two state-level bills that aim to prevent legitimate investigations into animal cruelty in farming operations will soon be voted on in the Iowa Senate. If passed, House File 589 and Senate File 431 will protect large factory farms as well as puppy mills by making all undercover investigations into animal care illegal.
If this measure becomes law in Iowa, it will set a precedent throughout the country. Our jails could become full of humane activists and journalists while animal abusers continue their actions in secret. Our country is founded on transparency and the belief that more information is better—that public knowledge is good. If passed, decent farmers will be tarnished by this effort. Most do not have anything to hide, but this law would condemn them all.
Please join our efforts to block passage of this chilling legislation. If you live in Iowa, please email your state senator and politely urge a no vote on SF431 and HF 589.
If you do not live in Iowa, please contact Governor Terry Branstad at (515) 281-5211 or https://governor.iowa.gov/contact/. Please do so in a reasonable and dignified manner.