Letter: ‘Ag gag’ bill

February 17, 2014 

Editor's note: The original published version of this letter incorrectly attributed it to a different author. Robin Purcell, of Eagle, wrote the letter.

If you dare, watch the video that prompted the ag gag bill. Just Google “Idaho dairy animal abuse.” But be forewarned, it’s gruesome. Taped are workers at Bettencourt Dairies flogging on cows with crowbar-like pipes while panicked animals slip to their bellies trying to escape; workers stomping cows, literally launching themselves from about 3 feet above, to slam directly down on a cow’s backbone. One downed cow was dragged and choked by a chain around her neck. There are more atrocities, but I leave it to the power of viewing rather than description.

Idaho has some of the weakest animal cruelty laws in the nation. Instead of working to improve horrific conditions, callous agribusiness legislators would rather silence whistle-blowers. This bill helps allow needless torture and abuse, keeps consumers in the dark, and could even threaten public health.

Some of the agencies that oppose ag gag laws include the American Civil Liberties Union, Clean Water Network, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumers Union, Center for Food Safety, Sierra Club, Human Rights Watch, Food and Water Watch and National Consumers League. If it gets full Senate approval, let’s hope it’s thwarted in U.S. District Court.

ROBIN PURCELL, Eagle

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