Humane Society ~ Veto HB1665 In Arkansas

Information from Wayne Pacelle – CEO of the HS.

The attack on animals – and the people who defend them – isn’t just happening on the federal level. It’s happening in some important states, too.

The Arkansas Senate yesterday approved a controversial state “ag-gag” bill that allows employers in Arkansas to sue workers who expose cruelty at their workplaces. It had passed the House a week earlier, and now it appears headed to Gov. Asa Hutchinson for his signature. The measure, sponsored by state Representative DeAnn Vaught and state Senator Gary Stubblefield, would put at risk anyone who documents cruelty at puppy mills, slaughter plants, and factory farms without the permission of the owners and operators of these facilities.

Most operators don’t willingly allow people to document illegal or cruel behavior, so this is yet another attempt in a national campaign to punish documenting animal cruelty. It’s a shield and a cover-up for the perpetrators of animal cruelty, seeking as they always do to avoid the public scrutiny that their practices warrant.

According to a statewide survey of Arkansans, 75 percent of residents there oppose Vaught and Stubblefield’s legislative approach, and 81 percent believe that an employee should not face punishment from his or her employer for documenting and informing others of cruel, unsafe, or unethical actions occurring in the workplace.

The bill is so sweeping that it would also gag employees who try to expose the abuse of children at a daycare center. The bill’s backers appear to be doing backflips to accommodate people in their state with something to hide.

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