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Greg Martin Animal Abuse
by Greg Martin, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: January 29, 2015

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Animal Abuse. I’m Greg Martin along with Lacy Gray with Colorado Ag Today.

GRAY: The Colorado Senate has introduced SB 42 which would require reporting of animal abuse within 48 hours. The bill sponsor, Senator Jerry Sonnenberg, along with others says the bill would benefit animals.

MARTIN: On the other side of the coin the outlook isn’t so rosy. Opponents says nothing could be further from the truth and that the bill is not about reducing the abandonment, mistreatment, or neglect of animals but rather, the bill is a poorly disguised ploy to silence whistleblowers investigating animal cruelty at factory farms and other agricultural facilities.

GRAY: Unlike Washington State’s ag-gag bill, SB 42 is a bit more subtle. By requiring undercover investigators to reveal themselves within 48 hours of witnessing animal cruelty, the bill reveals an identical intent and effect, which would allow agricultural facilities to punish those who criticize their practices.

MARTIN: Idaho’s ag- gag law enacted last year criminalizes all recording at agricultural facilities. Under SB 42, any cruelty discovered at their facilities can be blamed solely on the poor, low-wage workers who are caught on camera. Opponents say by passing SB 42 it would make Colorado complicit in covering up factory farm abuse and would also open up the state to costly litigation.

GRAY: This is a hot issue that will only get hotter as states try and pass ag-gag bills. We’ll keep an eye on this story.

And that’s Colorado Ag Today. I’m Greg Martin, thanks for listening on the Ag Information Network of the West.

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