Governor Nixon calls the bill an “odious effort” to keep citizens in the dark
WASHINGTON— Last week Missouri governor Jay Nixon vetoed what he called an “odious” bill that would have deprived citizens of information about animal agriculture facilities, agricultural producers and owners of agricultural land. Nixon said the bill was a “veil of secrecy” with “abusive reach” that would go against the open and transparent manner in which governments should operate. Missouri’s Sunshine Law guarantees citizens the right to access government reports and records—and its existence is critically important to maintaining transparency and accountability in Missouri’s animal-related industries. Ensuring that Missouri’s industries are complying with laws designed to protect consumers, animals, and the environment is an essential function of Missouri’s Sunshine Law. If enacted, H.B. 1414 would have created an information blackout, keeping constituents in the dark about what happens on factory farms.
The following is a statement from Cristina Stella, staff attorney at the Center for Food Safety:
“Center for Food Safety has been fighting these kinds of ag-gag bills for years and we commend Governor Nixon for doing the right thing and rejecting this heinous piece of legislation. Barring citizens from access to information about what is happening on factory farms is unacceptable. The public has a right to know when food animals are being mistreated – unethical rearing practices are inhumane and go hand-in-hand with unsanitary conditions that put the health of people, animals, rural communities and the environment at risk.”