Groups Oppose North Carolina "Ag-Gag" Bill

June 5, 2013

North Carolina's Senate is considering an industry-sponsored bill that would extend restrictions on undercover investigations beyond livestock operations to include other categories of industry.

Animal welfare groups have often broken news picked up by mainstream media with hidden-camera reports on abuse or unhealthy conditions in feedlots and packing houses. So-called "Ag-Gag" legislation passed in at least five states typically makes it illegal for an activist or journalist to omit their organizational affiliation on a job application — making undercover investigations impossible. Some require immediate reporting of any observed abuse — preventing longer-term investigations of chronic animal abuse.

The North Carolina bill got a hearing May 30 before a state Senate committee. The North Carolina Chamber of Commerce supports it, saying industries beyond agriculture want protection from the reporting of workplace abuses. The Humane Society of the United States, along with some two dozen other groups, opposes the bill.