from the give-a-dog-a-bad-name dept
As Mike wrote just under a year ago, so-called "ag-gag" laws are being passed in a number of US states. Idaho has just joined the club:
Idaho's governor has signed a bill into law that makes it illegal for undercover investigators and whistleblowers to expose animal cruelty on factory farms and slaughterhouses.
As Mike also noted in his post last year, the standard rationale for bringing in this legislation, which conveniently makes it hard for animal cruelty in factory farms to be documented by activists, is "terrorism" -- specifically "agro-terrorism". That's also the case in Idaho:
The bill, SB1337, was backed by the state's billion-dollar dairy industry after Mercy For Animals exposed dairy workers beating, kicking, and sexually abusing dairy cows. Under this new law, the whistleblowers who exposed the cruelty face criminal penalties worse than those who committed the abuse.
During a hearing before the Idaho Senate last Friday, Senator Steve Blair said: "I learned a new term when doing this research. It's called agro-terrorism... A lot of it happened very recently."
Both of the quotations above come from posts on GreenIsTheNewRed.com, which describes itself as follows:
Blair read from the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. But what he didn't mention is that this term he learned, and its counterpart "eco-terrorism," were made up by the industry itself.
This website focuses on how fear of "terrorism" is being exploited to push a political and corporate agenda. Specifically, I focus on how animal rights and environmental advocates are being branded "eco-terrorists" in what many are calling the Green Scare.
When an entire website can be devoted to this phenomenon, it's clear that this is no occasional rhetorical trick but part of a concerted campaign to stigmatize all kinds of legitimate dissent that happens to be inconvenient for powerful industry groups. Expect to see much more of it.