ASPCA Commends Gov. McCrory for Vetoing Dangerous Ag-Gag Bill that Would Have Covered Up Abuse on Factory Farms

May 29, 2015

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today commends North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory for vetoing HB 405, a dangerous ag-gag bill that would have prevented whistleblowers from exposing animal cruelty and food safety issues on factory farms. This bill was so far-reaching that it also threatened to prevent nurses from revealing elder abuse in hospitals or nursing homes, teachers from exposing child abuse at day cares, and workers from documenting workplace discrimination or mistreatment.

“HB 405 was an insidious attempt to silence whistleblowers and keep North Carolina residents in the dark about horrific animal abuse on industrial farms, but Governor McCrory sent a powerful message by vetoing this dangerous bill,” said Chloe Waterman, senior manager of state legislative strategy for the ASPCA. “Ag-gag has no place in North Carolina, and the ASPCA thanks Governor McCrory for standing up for the 74 percent of North Carolinians that support undercover investigations and the responsible farmers and businesses whose reputations would have been tarnished by this deplorable measure.”

Despite that strong public opposition and the release of an undercover video that showed shocking cruelty at a North Carolina chicken slaughterhouse, state lawmakers voted in favor of this bill. Recognizing the dangers of a food system without transparency, North Carolina residents quickly appealed to the Governor for a veto alongside a broad coalition of dozens of interest groups and farmers who voiced their opposition to the bill. In addition, newspapers from around the state editorialized against the bill and celebrities including Martha StewartKeshaNikki ReedEric McCormackAmy AckerKatherine Schwarzenegger and Andie MacDowell also called for the governor’s veto on social media.

“North Carolina is one of the leading producers of poultry and pork in the U.S. so their animal products could end up on anyone’s dinner plate,” said Daisy Freund, senior manager of Farm Animal Welfare for the ASPCA. “Ag-gag bills affect everyone, no matter where they live. Those concerned with animal abuse on factory farms and food safety issues need to remain vigilant in letting their state legislators know that they do not support the passage of dangerous ag-gag bills.”

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