Ag-Gag Laws and What They Mean for Animal Liberation

Several bills in large farm states have recently been signed into law banning all undercover investigations of animal cruelty on factory farms because the public seeing the truth about where their food comes from hurts their profits. Animal rights groups like Mercy for Animals have halted all undercover investigation in the states that have recently signed this bill; Iowa, Utah, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Indiana, Arkansas, and Wyoming. North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota are expected to sign in the near future.
The argument in favor of the Ag-Gag law, made by several partisan, corporate groups such as the Iowa Farm Bureau, is that the activists in question are ‘lying’ about their reason for being in the factory farms in the first place. Utah law makers referred to the animal rights groups as “terrorists” and the enemies of farmers.
“If somebody comes on somebody else’s property, through fraud or deception or lying, that is a serious violation of people’ rights,” said Iowa Governor Terry Branstad when he signed the bill into law.
These laws were signed after several undercover factory farm videos went viral in 2012, showcasing the unnecessary abuse and violence of the industry. One video in particular stands out, a large egg factory in Iowa. This investigative report, covered by ABC News, led to new rules being put in place at the egg factory, however if this report was given now, the investigators would be facing a prison sentence.
This is abhorrent in so many ways. If you drink milk, eat meat, or consume animals in any other way, you HAVE THE ABSOLUTE RIGHT to know where your food comes from. Silence is the key to the agricultural industry, the only way they stay in business is by keeping the public ignorant to their cruel and inhumane practices. Laws give giant corporations the idea that they have a right to privacy to maintain their profits, no matter how cruelly or maliciously they go about doing that. The public has every right to know how their food is being made and undercover footage is necessary because they refuse to show what they do to make profit. A factory farm is not someone’s home- it is a torture chamber of innocent creatures, and bringing cameras inside is not infringing on anyone’s reasonable right to privacy.

These laws do not protect the public, they protect the corporations that perform unspeakable acts on billions of animals every year. Ag-Gag laws are forcing our society to take huge steps backwards for animal welfare. Soon, more farm states will be signing this bill and the factory farmers will have no accountability for their actions whatsoever. If we allow these sort of actions to be tolerated and to continue, we are allowing for a world full of callous abuse behind closed doors that is protected by US law.


  1. Excellent article. Will link to this post on our Facebook page at;

    Thank you for the investing the time and the energy to influence other to from a place of empathy and compassion, take action to protect and lend voice to innocent, sentient, living beings who cannot speak for themselves.

    ~Gerean Pflug for The Animal Spirits

  2. This makes me so sad, exactly why I made the choice to become a vegan.

  3. Reblogged this on Time for Action.

  4. To hell with the rights of the farmers,what about the rights of the animals that are being abused, this is ridiculous.

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