Re: ”Don’t criminalize farm-abuse whistleblowing” (editorial, 1-20).
As an animal lover, I was sickened to hear that an “ag-gag” bill was introduced in the Washington House that would make it a crime to conduct undercover investigations into animal abuse on farms in our state.
It would be nice to think that all farmers handle their animals humanely, but this is not the case. Earlier this month, for example, an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States found that a hen slaughter plant in Butterfield, Minnesota, was scalding hens alive. Similar investigations all over the country have uncovered egregious animal welfare violations.
Washington Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, wants to outlaw such investigations, but I hope that Washingtonians across the state will make sure our legislators know that ag-gag bills such as this one are unwelcome here.