Ag-gag Laws: The Bid to Silence Animal Advocates
Governments in the US have begun to threaten the work of animal advocates through the introduction of ‘ag-gag’ laws which, among other things, make it illegal to covertly film or photograph livestock facilities. In 2006, the US government passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act which packages up all forms of non-violent resistance that might threaten agricultural profits and labels them as acts of ‘domestic terrorism’. Support for ag-gag legislation has now begun to creep into Australian politics, with parliamentarians from both sides of politics calling for similar laws.
The 2014 Voiceless Animal Law Lecture Series examined the rise of ag-gag laws and their effect on transparency and public discourse. To present this topic, Voiceless welcomed award-winning journalist and one of America’s foremost ag-gag experts, Will Potter, as keynote speaker. The lecture series explored the use and manipulation of politics, the media and the law by agribusiness to demonise and undermine the animal protection movement, and incite fear within the public.