Agribusiness Wants Cruelty Investigators “Prosecuted to the Fullest Extent of the Law”

October 2, 2009

If you want to get a sense of how fundamentally twisted some agribusiness insiders are, this Drovers article, written by the Animal Agriculture Alliance, lays it all out.

Agribusiness is feeling the heat from several well-publicized cruelty investigations that have occurred over the past few months: MFA’s hatchery video, COK’s battery egg video, and the just-released PETA dairy cow video. And the industry’s responding, not by banning specific cruelties and otherwise cleaning up their act, but by seeking to blame and punish the undercover investigators who have exposed these cruelties:

As these videos achieve the publicity sought by the groups, the Alliance is concerned that the activist employees providing the tapes are not held accountable for their failure to follow company animal care policies and their failure to immediately report mistreatment to the farm owners or managers. Instead, the videos are produced and released directly to the media – often months later – allowing the alleged mistreatment to continue while the activists plan their strategic media campaign.

It’s the nature of these investigations that the undercover employees must do their jobs exactly as they are instructed. To refuse to follow orders would sabotage the investigation, which would play right into the hands of companies that are perpetuating cruelty.

These actions lead to concerns about the possibility that some of the alleged cruelty shown could be staged strictly for the purpose of making the video.

Give me a break. Notice that even after appalling cruelties are documented on video, this piece on the one hand refers to them as “alleged cruelty” and on the other hand suggests they’re “staged.”

But Drovers isn’t done yet:

Another concern of grave importance to farm animal owners and to national security is the possibility these same tactics could be employed by individuals or groups seeking a very different agenda – the deliberate contamination of our national food supply.

This is such a bad faith and immoral argument I hardly know where to begin. Because factory farming has no legitimate response to these cruelty videos, they’re playing the terrorism and national security cards. But they’re still not finished.

The Alliance strongly encourages, and will assist with as possible, a thorough investigation of all reports of mistreatment, and if the investigation information confirms that acts of animal cruelty occurred, then all individuals involved should be held accountable, disciplined, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law – including those who participated in such acts solely for the purpose of recording them.

So, since undercover investigations are the only effective way to identify and expose agribusiness cruelties, the Animal Agriculture Alliance wants to label the undercover investigators as participants in cruelty, and have them punished, “to the fullest extent of the law.” Absolutely despicable. (Thanks, Bea.) Link.

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