Earlier this week, we told you about a Utah bill that seeks to ban animal rights groups from filming undercover at factory farms. Similar “ag gag” bills have been defeated in several states, but unfortunately, this one has already been passed by the Utah House of Representatives — a fact that doesn’t sit well with animal lovers, who are working furiously to stop it from being made a law by the state Senate.
PETA, Mercy for Animals, and the ASPCA farm animal welfare program have publicly opposed the bill, with celeb support from Cloris Leachman. And now they have another star in their corner.
Actress Katherine Heigl, who was married in Utah and owns a home there, denounced the measure by writing to every member of the state Senate on behalf of PETA.
She wrote, “I am writing to urge you to vote against House Bill (H.B.) 187, which would criminalize undercover filming on factory farms. This bill makes our state’s agricultural community seem desperate to hide illegal and inhumane treatment of animals from the public. As animals cannot defend themselves, the public must maintain its right to document illegal cruel practices in order to alert law enforcement to their existence. Please don’t impede law enforcement by passing this terrible bill.
“I hope that legislators in Utah recognize that…they need to work to prevent cruelty to animals by strengthening laws, not penalizing those who are trying to expose this cruelty.”
If the bill passes, it will make undercover filming at farms a misdemeanor, a fact that animal rights activists say works against not only the animals, but the farms themselves.
According to the ASPCA’s Suzanne McMillan, “Bills like this only serve to heighten suspicion that the agricultural industry has something to hide. Americans deserve to know how their food is produced, and responsible farmers should welcome that transparency.”
Want to help put a stop to this cruel piece of legislature? Then check out the rest of Heigl’s letter and add your voice to PETA’s campaign against the ag gag bill.
But act fast — the Utah state Senate has until March 8 to take action.