ASPCA Denounces North Carolina Override of Ag-Gag Bill Veto

June 3, 2015

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is profoundly disappointed by the North Carolina Legislature’s decision to cater to abusive industries and put animals, children, the elderly, and veterans in jeopardy by overriding HB 405, a dangerous ag-gag bill that will prevent whistleblowing employees from exposing illegal or unethical activities happening at any business.

“The ASPCA is deeply troubled by the veto override of HB 405, which will silence whistleblowers and keep North Carolina residents in the dark about horrific abuses that take place on factory farms,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President & CEO. “Siding against the public and allowing unscrupulous farmers and businesses to keep their atrocities secret is a shameful decision that hurts responsible businesses and stains the integrity of the state legislature.”

The Legislature’s decision to override Gov. McCrory’s veto of HB 405 ignores the concerns of their constituents, as a recent poll revealed that 74 percent of North Carolina voters support undercover investigations by animal welfare groups on farms. In addition to strong opposition from the public, a broad coalition of dozens of farmers and advocacy groups, including the AARP and the Wounded Warrior Project, voiced their opposition to the bill.

Celebrities including North Carolina’s own Andie MacDowell, Leilani Munter, and Bellamy Young, as well as Martha StewartKeshaNikki ReedEric McCormackAmy Acker, and Katherine Schwarzenegger also called for the governor’s veto. Editorials in the top five state newspapers argued against the bill, citing the dangers of covering up abuse and the need for transparency in industries where the most vulnerable in our society are often at great risk of harm.

The ASPCA expresses thanks to Gov. McCrory for his justified veto of this dangerous bill and to Sen. Josh Stein (D-Wake), and Reps. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford), Becky Carney (D-Mecklenburg), and Grier Martin (D-Wake) for speaking against the bill.

For more information about the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit