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Published August 2015

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Exposing Ag-Gag

The federally-sanctioned “gag” order on agricultural operations involving livestock effectively denies us our first amendment right to free speech. Learn more about why that is here in this report.

Art: Mother Jones

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Industrial farmed animal production,”1” also known as factory farming, has been widely criticized as inhumane, ecologically unsustainable, and a contributor to a range of public health problems. These problems have largely been hidden from public view by refusing journalists and concerned citizens access to industrial farms. Given this systematic effort by agribusiness to render its practices invisible, undercover video investigations have become one of the few effective means for bringing the problems of industrialized agriculture into public view. Fearful of the public scrutiny created by such investigations, agribusiness has worked for decades to pass “ag-gag” legislation that limits normal free speech rights by preventing the production or use of photos and video taken on farms. These efforts have intensified since 2011. Ag-gag laws are arguably the most dangerous threat to fair public discussion of industrial agriculture, yet they have already been passed in a number of states. An immediate response is required to challenge this threat to free speech and the devastating blow it deals to those working to curb the abuses of factory farming.