Commentary

The latest on troubling “ag gag” bill

McCrory budgetThe General Assembly presented the controversial “ag gag” bill to Governor McCrory last Wednesday May 20. The Guv has 10 days to sign or veto the bill (which, by my calculations, means he needs to act by this Saturday). He could also just ignore it — in which case it would become law also.

The bill, as you will recall, would create liability for any person (including employees) who gain access to “nonpublic areas” of employer premises and who then, without authorization, record images or sounds and then use those recordings to breach their “duty of loyalty to the employer.”

Today, the folks over at Public News Service published another worrisome story about the possible impacts of the bill in which a credible argument was advanced that the measure would silence potential whistle blowers in numerous fields beyond agriculture:

“While the bill has made headlines for its potential impact on whistle-blower investigations on factory farms, critics maintain the broad language of the bill could also impact investigations at nursing home and day care facilities.

‘This ag gag bill has sweeping and broad impacts on the safety of really every resident in North Carolina,’ says Matt Dominguez, public policy director for farm animal protection at the Humane Society of the United States. ‘If you have a parent in a nursing home or a child in day care, they are going to be put in harm’s way by this bill.'”

Let’s hope that, at a minimum, the Governor fully explains his actions rather than taking the easy way out (as he has done with multiple controversial bills in the past) by simply letting the measure become law without his signature. On such a matter, the public deserves to know where McCrory stands.

3 Comments


  1. Randy Janssen

    May 26, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Farmers have a right to be concerned with groups like the HSUS. The HSUS is a vegan cult that wants to stop all use of animals. To do this it exaggerates instances of animal cruelty and lies about legitimate methods of animal husbandry. They produce videos that are doctored and have voice overs that are deceptive. These fanatics get away with this, because the US is an urban society that is separated from food production. Most citizens would puke at the sight of a calf castration, but without the castration the meat would be of lower quality and the animal harder to control. Farming is a hard and dirty business, without it our cities would starve. So get behind farmers and support laws that keep these fanatics out of their business.

  2. Stephanie

    May 26, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Randy, that is a completely ridiculous accusation. The HSUS is not a “vegan cult.” Silencing citizens to protect businesses who are acting outside the confines of the law is unconstitutional and should not be accepted or promoted. If people are producing false accounts, then they can be sued for slander and libel, as they lied to advance an agenda. Trying to take away the rights of citizens to share information as a response is 100% wrong. This is not just about animals, it is about the elderly and disabled in care facilities, or pharmacies selling expired medication, or any other act that could occur without proper checks and balances. Please educate yourself more about the implications of this bill.

  3. LayintheSmakDown

    May 27, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Well, aren’t the whacko groups just going to stage some falsified videos anyway. It should not be that hard to do, heck maybe the filmmakers could be eligible for some of the film incentive credits.

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