I tip my hat to the California Cattlemens Association and Assemblyman Jim Patterson for submitting AB 343 with coauthors Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, Assemblyman Brian Dahle, Assemblyman Brian Maienschein and Senator Jim Nielsen and endorsement by the California Farm Bureau.
It is refreshing to see a bill that truly works to address the issue of animal cruelty in agriculture.
Unlike bills in other states, AB343 protects the right to video and photograph, protects the worker from reporting observed abuse, promotes cooperation with local law enforcement and puts the welfare of the animals above the bottom line and above the next fundraising campaign.
AB343 combines common sense with moral fortitude. It requires that animal abuse is reported in a timely manner, in order to minimize suffering, allow for a proper investigation and see that appropriate charges are brought against the offender.
Finally, an animal welfare bill that those in agriculture and those outside of agriculture, who care about the welfare of animals, can stand together in support of.
…This bill would require any person who willfully or knowingly photographs, records, or videotapes animal cruelty to provide a copy of the photograph, recording, or videotape to local law enforcement within 48 hours of taking the photograph, recording, or videotape, and would encourage the person to provide a copy of the photograph, recording, or videotape to the owner of the animal or poultry, or a representative of the owner. This bill would define animal cruelty for its purposes as any act involving an animal, as defined, or poultry, as defined, described in prescribed criminal offenses…
At first I thought this post was a bit tardy, however, it seems there has been an uptick in discussion lately. I am referring the re-authorization, by the Federal government, of funds to pay for the inspection of slaughtering horses for food.
Now, for those of you who have not been following my blog, tweets or Facebook updates, my family raises horses and has for several generations. We have raised our own, purchased domestically and from abroad (Percherons from France), train and use them for work on the ranch, competition driving and riding, packing and pleasure. Read more…
It has been a while since I posted and for that I apologize. The primary reason was that I did not want publish a post that was not uplifting and positive, so close to Christmas.
Four weeks ago I helped bury a dear friend and had to put a mare down who broke her leg, in the middle of the field, with no holes around, apparently from running, or being chased. Then, three days later, one of our mares, who had just foaled, was killed by either a mountain lion or bear and a cow was killed on the same night, perhaps by a pack of coyotes or the same lion or bear. Read more…
I just read and article, “Iowa House Agrees To Prohibit Secret Animal Abuse Videos“. I did a post a few weeks ago on this subject, “Photos, Private Property and Politics” and have been thinking on the matter further. When thinking about current legislation being proposed in a number of states on the matter of video taping on farms, ranches and processing establishments I think there are four basic factors to consider when drafting legislation.
1. Trespassing – Plain and simple, if someone trespasses on private property, urban, rural, home, ranch or business, it should be a felony, period. As a misdemeanor, cases of trespass are often not even prosecuted and when they are, are more often than not plead out or dropped. People who trespass are directly violating another individuals personal rights and freedoms and should not be tolerated.
2. Biosecurity – Individuals who are working for groups with agendas that promote animal rights and would like to see the elimination of animal agriculture do not consider the health risks to animals which they claim to be in support of. No two farms or ranches are the same and individuals, sneaking from farm to farm, can easily carry viruses and bacteria on their clothing and place the health of animals at risk. It is especially concerning when individuals may go from an auction yard, which host a multitude of vectors for diseases and then enter a farm or ranch, carrying with them, that which was picked up at the yard. Not to mention, many of these so-called videographers have filmed over seas, in countries with diseases that we do not want re-introduced here.
3. Management – Individuals who are in charge of hiring and firing the workforce need to be diligent in two particular areas. First, be diligent in doing background checks and talking to references. Make certain the people you hire are of the proper disposition and integrity to work with animals. Second, be diligent in training employees in the proper handling techniques to ensure that all animals are treated with the proper care. Make sure all employees are familiar with the equipment and know how to handle situations in which animals can be stressed or in distress due to injury or illness.
4. Verification – In operations and facilities that have large workforces, install cameras so that all aspects can be monitored to ensure that proper handling techniques are being utilized and identify people, equipment and situations that can be improved on behalf of the welfare of the animal. Being able to monitor the day-to-day operations can be invaluable when it comes to reducing stress of both people and animals and identifying areas that are in need of upgrade, repair or re-design.
Finally, employees who see issues that are of concern, should have a clear understanding of how to report those concerns immediately, so they can be addressed and fixed. A clear chain of command should exist on all farms and ranches. Should the matter not be addressed, then the appropriate authorities should be notified.
Any operation that fails to do proper background checks, fails to properly train employees, fails to monitor day-to-day operations closely, fails to address issues of concern deserves any and all legal action afforded their actions as is pertinent for the state which they do business. Likewise, individuals who trespass, put the health and welfare of animals in jeopardy for the sole purpose of shooting a video to further the agenda of radical animal rights groups, should also be prosecuted to fullest extent of applicable law.
There has been a fair amount of discussion recently over legislation being submitted across the country that would make it illegal for someone to photograph or shoot video on agricultural operations without the permission of the owner. Discussions on this type of legislation has been very polar, with folks either in full support or adamantly opposed. I find myself aligning more in the middle.
First, Senator Jim Norman (R) of Florida proposed the legislation, SB 1246, on Feb. 21, 2011.
“An act relating to farms; prohibiting a person from entering onto a farm or photographing or video recording a farm without the owner’s written consent; providing a definition; providing penalties; providing an effective date.”
Also considering similar legislation is the state of Iowa which introduced, on March 2, 2011, House File 589.
“HF 589 addresses concerns of bio-security of Iowa’s animal industry and the well-being of animals. The bill protects livestock and crop operations against unauthorized destruction, killing or injuring of stock, or disruption of agricultural or bio-technical operations on an owner’s premise. Additionally, it makes it unlawful to produce, possess, or distribute an unauthorized recording (sound or image) at an animal or crop operation.” Read more…
Despite disliking being away from the ranch and family, I look forward to traveling and challenge myself to meet new people, learn new things and make each trip memorable. This trip is definitely going down as one to remember. Read more…
Continuing with questions for perspective and understanding, these pertain to livestock production and animal welfare. Once again, feel free to answer any, all or none of the questions. These are not asked to cause heated debate, but to garner further understanding and perspective. Thank you. Read more…