March 5, 2015 (Washington, DC)—Center for Food Safety is today calling on Wyoming Governor Mead to veto “ag-gag” bill S.F. 12. The bill would criminalize the documentation of day-to-day activities on factory farms, which has been used to reveal food safety and animal welfare violations. Now that the bill has passed the legislature, Governor Mead has until Friday to make a decision.
“We are urgently calling on Governor Mead to veto S.F. 12 in order to protect human health and transparency in our food system,” said Paige Tomaselli, senior attorney at Center for Food Safety.
“Ag-gag laws take our food system in the wrong direction. Allowing laws that reduce the accountability of food producers only further degrades our relationship with the land and our food. These laws work to criminalize speech intended to improve our food system and keep our food production behind closed doors. Without the ability to witness, expose, and critique some of the nation’s most powerful industries, we are all vulnerable,” continued Tomaselli.
In March 2014, a coalition of animal protection, labor rights, and environmental groups including Center for Food Safety filed a federal lawsuit to overturn a similar “ag-gag” law in Idaho.
“Ag-gag” laws present a threat to food safety by seeking to stop investigative activities that could keep contaminated food off the market. The welfare of animals raised and slaughtered in animal factories has a direct correlation with the safety of the U.S. food supply.
At a time when more consumers than ever are calling for greater transparency in the food system, Center for Food Safety warns that passage of this law would cast a dark cloud over Wyoming's agricultural sector.