At the beginning of this week, the first lawsuit against an ag-gag law was filed in Utah. The lawsuit argues that it is unconstitutional to criminalize investigative journalists and animal welfare advocates who expose cruelty at farms and slaughterhouses. The suit is being filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, Professor James McWilliams, the political newspaper CounterPunch, and Will Potter of Green is the New Red, along with others.
Back in April, Utah became the first state to try to prosecute someone under an ag-gag law. You may recall Utah resident Amy Meyer, who filmed animal abuse at a local slaughterhouse while walking down a public street. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for her case to reach the media and prosecutors quickly dropped all charges.
This was a victory for Amy and animal advocates everywhere; however, the ag-gag law still exists in Utah and many other states have similar laws or are in the process of passing such laws. And that’s precisely why this lawsuit is being filed…to take back our freedom of speech and our right to expose criminal activity and abuse that would otherwise go unseen.
The American public is tired of Big Ag getting away with abusing animals and misleading consumers, all the while raking in billions of dollars in profits. It’s time to show these corporations and the government that they can no longer hide behind concrete walls and unjust laws.