The state of Idaho is appealing a federal court’s decision to overturn the state’s “ag-gag” law.
The law makes it a crime to videotape agriculture operations. Idaho lawmakers passed the law in 2014 after the state’s $2.5 billion dairy industry complained that videos of weak, dying cows being beaten and stomped on at a southern Idaho dairy unfairly hurt their business.
The vicious brutality caught on video sparked a consumer backlash, as did the images of sickly, terrified cows covered with ulcers and feces being prodded with electrical rods into slaughter tunnels.
The Los Angeles-based animal rights group Mercy For Animals released the videos, shot in 2012 at Bettencourt Dairy.
Similar conditions have been documented in other states, including Wisconsin. Republican “pro-business” legislators in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Tennessee and other states have either passed or tried to pass legislation similar to Utah’s in order to protect companies from public exposure of the squalid, brutal conditions under which animals are kept in factory farms/
A federal court invalidated Utah’s law in August, holding that it violates the First Amendment.
The state appealed that ruling to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The picture shown here is known as a “death pile.” After being crammed into spaces so small they can’t move and loaded with steroids, hormones and anibiotics to make them grow, factory farm animals end up in piles like this before their parts are butchered and sold in shiny cellophane-wrapped packages on supermarket shelves. Their short lives are lived amid conditions of unimaginable brutality and squalor.