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Ag-gag Laws

I’m not sure who coined the phrase “Ag-gag laws” but I’m quite sure it would have been anti-meat, animal-rights groups. “Ag” refers to the agriculture industry while “gag” refers to, well... gag. According to Wikipedia, “Ag-gag laws are anti-whistle blower laws that apply within the agriculture industry.” These laws forbid the “undercover filming or photography of activity on farms without the consent of their owner—particularly targeting whistle blowers of animal-rights abuses at these facilities.”

So-called Ag-gag laws are designed to
prevent trespassing, nothing more.
Now, is it just me or does “these laws forbid the undercover filming or photography of activity on farms without the consent of their owner” sound like good laws, laws designed to prevent trespassing. Think about it for a moment; if somebody showed up on your property and started filming or photographing the birds or animals in your care, would you not be concerned, regardless of whether you practiced good animal care or not?

The argument is that if you don’t practice good animal care then you should be exposed to the public, and that if you do practice good animal care then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. And there is some argument to that. However, the entire problem here, at least in my mind, is that big word “trespassing” is being ignored. Private property is exactly that, private. And because not all animal-rights activists are upstanding citizens, laws have been put in place to prevent trespassing, theft, and property damage, so-called Ag-gag laws.

Introduced in Alberta by the United Conservative Party, the Trespass Statutes (Protecting Law-abiding Property Owners) Act received royal assent on December 5, 2019. The Act strengthens protections for property owners and ensure trespassers face the proper consequences for their actions. It will:
● better protect law-abiding property owners from civil liability for injuries to criminal trespassers,
● increase maximum fines to deter trespassing,
● better protect farmers and ranchers from harassment and occupations by protesters, which are actions that risk introducing disease and threaten the welfare of animals.

Maybe I’m a dinosaur but the Trespass Statutes (Protecting Law-abiding Property Owners) Act sounds reasonable to me.

But for animal-rights activists, vegans and the lot that don’t believe we should be utilizing animals for food (or practically anything for that matter), these laws “infringe on the Charter Rights of individuals to expose animal cruelty and suffering.” As an example, The Animal Protection Party of Canada says, “Let’s be clear: this kind of legislation is not about food safety. It is about keeping the public in the dark about how animals are raised and killed for food.”

Meanwhile, another group, the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), the “only organization in the world that brings together animal welfare groups, enforcement, government and farmers under a collective decision-making model for advancing farm animal welfare” continues its work for the care and handling of farm animals. But for the animal-rights extremists, whom these laws were written for, the NFACC doesn’t matter; it’s much more fun to trespass on private property.

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