Despite a veto from North Carolina’s governor, the state’s “ag-gag” bill became law last week. On June 3, the general assembly voted to override Republican Governor Pat McCrory’s veto, despite controversy and opposition. Allowing employers to pursue legal charges against an employee who records footage or steals data and documents from the company, the legislation also involves industries other than agriculture. As a result, this will affect undercover investigators from recording photo or video of animal-rights abuses—in a state where such abuses have been recorded in the past. “It really demonstrates just how much the meat industry has to hide,” Paul Shapiro, the vice president of Farm Animal Protection at the Humane Society of the United States, told Salon.com. The bill’s most prominent backer—North Carolina’s Chamber of Commerce—represents companies like Tyson, Smithfield Foods, Pilgrim’s, and Cargill, among others. There are 50,000 farms in North Carolina, and the state is the second largest hog producer in the country. Other states with similar “ag-gag” legislation include Idaho, Kansas, Montana, and North Dakota.
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