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Activism Updates: Week of February 27th

Iowa and Utah Ag Gag Bills

What They Are

This week's activism updates come a few days early for the sake of the Iowa and Utah Ag Gag bills. In Iowa, the bill has passed the Iowa Senate and is due to be signed into law by Gov. Terry Branstand. If signed, the law would criminalize undercover investigations of animal abuse at factory farms in the state by making it illegal to shoot undercover photos and videos and to lie about animal rights affiliations in an application for employment. In Utah, similar legislation has been overwhelmingly approved by the House and takes aim at people one lawmaker called "animal rights terrorists".

A coalition of animal and environmental protection groups has opposed these pieces of legislation, saying:

“These bills represent a wholesale assault on many fundamental values shared by all people across the United States. Not only would these bills perpetuate animal abuse on industrial farms, they would also threaten workers’ rights, consumer health and safety, and the freedom of journalists, employees and the public at large to share information about something as fundamental as our food supply. We call on state legislators around the nation to drop or vote against these dangerous and un-American efforts.”

Mercy for Animals has responded with this powerful video, which contains footage of animal abuses recorded during undercover investigations of factory farms (Warning: Contains Graphic Footage of Animal Suffering):

What You Can Do

If you live in Iowa or Utah, contact your state lawmakers immediately to protest this legislation. If you live in any of the other states where Ag Gag legislation is under consideration (Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York), contact your state lawmakers to oppose it.

Iowa State Legislature: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/index.aspx
Utah State Legislature: http://le.utah.gov

Florida State Legislature: http://www.leg.state.fl.us
Illinois State Legislature: http://www.ilga.gov
Indiana State Legislature: http://www.in.gov/legislative/index.htm
Minnesota State Legislature: http://www.leg.state.mn.us
Missouri State Legislature: http://www.moga.mo.gov
Nebraska State Legislature: http://nebraskalegislature.gov
New York State Legislature: http://assembly.state.ny.us

Wolf Cull Using Live Bait in Idaho

What It Is

Idaho Senate Bill 1305, introduced on February 9, 2012 would permit the slaughter of wolves who kill livestock in Idaho by any means using live bait, specifically dogs. Wolves are already being slaughtered by the hundreds in Idaho to artificially boost elk populations, even though recent research has determined that wolves are not a primary culprit in elk population decline. On top of this, there is an annual wolf trapping and hunting season in Idaho, which has resulted in the deaths of at least 400 animals this year.

What You Can Do

A short time ago, these animals were on the endangered species list for the very reason that they had been hunted to near extinction. Now it's happening again. If you live in Idaho, contact your state legislature and demand an end to wolf hunting in the state. If you live in Montana, where another annual wolf hunting and trapping season takes place, contact your state legislature and do the same.

Idaho State Legislature: http://legislature.idaho.gov
Montana State Legislature: http://leg.mt.gov/css/default.asp

Protect Seals iPhone App

What It Is

This slick little application written by the Humane Society of the United States uses your current location to help you find groceries and restaurants committed to helping end the Atlantic seal slaughter. I've downloaded it myself, and I have to say that I think it's very well done.

From the application description:

For years, Canada has authorized sealers to slaughter hundreds of thousands of seal pups — most of whom will be under three months of age when they die — for their fur. By dining and shopping at establishments listed on this app, you will help to bring an end to Canada's cruel and needless commercial seal slaughter...The restaurants and grocery shops listed on this app have each committed to shift key bits (and in many cases all) of their seafood purchasing away from Canada until it ends the seal slaughter.

What You Can Do

Download the app and use it copiously!

Conclusions

I hope you've found this roundup of animal activism alerts helpful. If you take action on any of these items and have the time, I'd love to hear about it! I'd also love to hear your suggestions for improvement. Until next week then, thank you for your time, and thank you for everything you do on behalf of the animals and the earth we share with them.

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