New York Times Takes a Stand Against Ag-Gag Laws

The newspaper editorial board addresses the issues surrounding undercover investigations at factory farms.


In the Saturday edition of The New York Times, the newspaper’s editorial board advocated for protection of the right to expose abuse on factory farms. In the wake of ag-gag laws getting passed in states such as North Carolina, and overturned in Idaho, the Times explained the motives and dangers of this type of legislation. “These laws, on the books in seven states, purport to be about the protection of private property, but they are nothing more than government-sanctioned censorship of a matter of public interest,” the paper wrote. Ag-gag laws put restrictions on, or make it completely illegal for, people who become undercover investigators in agricultural settings. These undercover investigations are often major catalysts for change in the food industry. The editorial board concluded, “In a country that lavishes love and legal protections on house pets, factory-farmed animals are left out in the cold, exempt from almost all animal-cruelty laws. As a result they suffer torture and other mistreatment to a degree that is hard to imagine. The only way to make it stop is to ensure that Americans can see for themselves what goes on behind the factory doors.”

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