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KY Senators Turn Humane Farm Bill into Ag-gag Law

State lawmakers hijacked a piece of animal-welfare legislation to attempt to make factory farm investigations illegal.

Kentucky House Bill 222 was recently created to make euthanasia methods on factory farms less inhumane, but state senators inserted a clause that would prohibit people from “[gaining] access to an agricultural operation through misrepresentation,” thus making it unlawful for activist undercover investigators to seek employment at factory farms. “To take a simple bill and make it something much more complicated, and maybe even unconstitutional, is certainly disturbing,” says the bill’s sponsor, Representative Joni Jenkins. “I would hope it just dies.” Ag-gag proponents claim that animal-cruelty can be fought without secret exposés, but covert investigations have been the most effective method of revealing the cruel practices of the animal agriculture industry. For example, in late February, footage taken at the Iron Maiden Hog Farm in Owensboro, KY, showed sows being kept in extremely confining cages while being fed the intestines of their piglets who had died from a diarrheal disease.

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