Animal welfare activists targeted in bills to curb investigations

March 17, 2013

In an effort led by the meat and poultry industries, state legislators nationwide are introducing laws to make it harder for animal welfare advocates to investigate cruelty and food safety.

Some bills would make it illegal to take photographs at a farming operation. Others want to make it a crime to lie on an application for a job at a plant.

Bills pending in California, Nebraska and Tennessee require that anyone collecting evidence of abuse turn it over to law enforcement within 24 to 48 hours — which advocates say does not allow enough time to document illegal activity. In Indiana, Arkansas and Pennsylvania, it would be a crime to make videos at agricultural operations.

Critics say the bills are an effort to deny consumers the ability to know how their food is produced.

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