Gaining employment under false pretenses is a tactic commonly used by animal rights activists on farms in all states. A bill that would make it illegal for people to be hired at Missouri livestock operations for the sole purpose of trying to obtain videos of animals being mistreated has advanced in the state legislature. The Missouri House has given initial approval to an ag package that, among other things, creates the crime of ‘agriculture production facility fraud.’
Ag Policy Committee Chairman Tom Loehner of Koeltztown, Missouri said on the House Floor, that footage of normal livestock production practices can be taken out of context to make a facility look bad.
“Whether it be a cow that maybe got hurt and went down – you’ve gotta get it up somehow,” says Loehner, “You pick it up and you can’t pick it up by hand – and – you hook whatever you can to it to raise it up to get it out of the way. I mean, you can take a (video) shot of that, somebody pickin’ up a cow with a skid steer, and you just block that out for that second and it looks like we’re just killin’ this thing.”
Loehner says farmers need protection from that. Urban legislators argued farmers should have nothing to hide. Another favorable vote on the omnibus ag bill would send it to the Missouri Senate.
~Missourinet contributed to this report~