PETA, the Center for Food Safety, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Food & Water Watch and the Government Accountability Project filed a federal lawsuit January 13, challenging the constitutionality of North Carolina’s “Ag-Gag” law, G.S. 99A-1, G.S. 99A-2.
The vetoed bill was overridden this past Session and took effect on Jan. 1.
The primary sponsors of the bill represent Cumberland,
Transylvania, Henderson, Polk, Ashe, Watagua and Mecklenburg counties.
The suit alleges the law violates free speech, free press, the Equal Protection clause and endangers our health, safety and welfare behind an anti-sunshine law.
The law doesn’t directly affect Animal Services in NC but it is infringing on the protections animals have under our cruelty laws. Big Ag is already found there exempting their “lawful activities” as “providing food for human consumption”. Define “lawful”. How can one know if it is within the parameters of “lawful” if whistle blowers are gagged.
Here is a link to our factory farms in NC:
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam vetoed a similar law while in Utah a Federal judge struck it down completely.
It will be interesting to follow this case and the stand our state and county representatives take on this one.