From Mercy for Animals (MFA)
By signing into law a bill that makes criminals out of undercover investigators who expose cruelty to animals, corporate corruption, dangerous working conditions, environmental violations, or food safety concerns at factory farms, Governor Brandstad failed Iowans, Iowa's farmed animals, and the American people.
New evidence of political corruption has come to light since Iowa Governor Terry Branstad bowed to pressure from "Big Ag." By signing into law a bill that makes criminals out of undercover investigators who expose cruelty to animals, corporate corruption, dangerous working conditions, environmental violations, or food safety concerns at factory farms, Governor Brandstad failed Iowans, Iowa's farmed animals, and the American people.
According to the Des Moines Register, Governor Branstad and several other legislators largely supporting the bill received substantial contributions from influential agriculture groups, including the Iowa Pork Producers Association. The National Institute on Money in State Politics found that the agriculture industry provided nearly 10 percent of Governor Branstad's $8.9 million in campaign funding, while another leading supporter of the bill, Senator Joe Seng of Davenport, received over 25 percent of his campaign money from agricultural interests.
Founders of Iowa Beef Products topped the donor list, contributing $152,000 to Governor Brandstad's campaign. Co-founders of Iowa Select Farms - the target of a 2011 Mercy For Animals investigation - were also among the top donors, contributing $50,000 to Brandstad.
Why the "hush money"?
MFA's undercover investigation at Iowa Select Farms revealed horrific abuse to pigs, including:
- Mother sows confined to barren metal crates barely larger than their own bodies - unable to turn around or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives
- Workers ripping out the testicles of conscious piglets without the use of painkillers
- Piglets suffering with herniated intestines, due to botched castration
- Conscious piglets having their tails painfully sliced into and yanked off with dull clippers
- Sick and injured pigs left to languish and slowly die without proper veterinary care
- Management training workers to throw piglets across the room - comparing it to a "roller coaster ride"
Clearly, Iowa Select Farms has a lot to hide from the public. This issue of dirty politics is only one aspect of the disgrace surrounding Iowa's "ag-gag" law. Not a single federal law protects farmed animals from abuse or neglect during their lives on factory farms, and Iowa specifically excludes farmed animals from protection against even some of the worst forms of factory farm cruelty. This ag-gag law represents an underhanded attempt to silence animal advocates while keeping consumers in the dark about the harsh realities of modern animal agriculture.
You can withdraw your support of this corrupt industry by choosing a kind and compassionate vegetarian diet. Visit ChooseVeg.com for delicious recipes, instructional videos, and tips on making the transition.