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The Editorial contends that the fewer Americans hear of what happens in the farm factories sector, the healthier, due to animal mistreatment and violence. For eg, the board mentions very sick cows being drugged by the neck over cement floors, pigs being battered or even stabbed, and chickens being killed by tossing against walls (Editorial). Preventing general knowledge of what happens in the farms encourages the continuation of these inhumane acts of mistreating and inevitably murdering any of these creatures. Editorial is wrong in my view. It is not beneficial to the sector. I believe it is a loss to the farms if the animals are killed. Also, mistreatment and abuse of animals may lead to reduced production and increased costs incurred during the treatment of injured animals. I believe it is better for the farm if these acts are exposed as this would promote elimination of animal abuse and mistreatment.

The Editorial claims that mistreatment of these animals come to light only because of courageous employees and others posing as employees who take undercover videos and release them to the public (Editorial). I differ with Editorial. This is because apart from the employees and those posing as employees, there are animal rights groups that have exposed the mistreatment of animals. For instance, Humane Society of the United States and Mercy for Animals which exposed several cases of animal abuse and mistreatment. The cases exposed by these animal rights groups include an employee striking horse in Tennessee, burning leg of horse with chemical and a man mistreating pig in Wyoming farm among others (Oppel Jr.)

Also, the Editorial claims that Industry’s lobbyist pushed for ag-gag laws which protect slaughterhouses and other agricultural facilities only succeeded in North Carolina. This is not true. The laws are applied in other regions. Also, the Editorial adds that the laws aim at silencing those who act as whistle-blowers at agricultural facilities, workplaces, day-care Centers, veterans’ facilities and nursing homes. This is not true. The ag-gag law covers agricultural facilities ant slaughterhouses. The laws governing workplaces, day-care Centers, veterans’ facilities and nursing homes are different from the ag-gag laws (Oppel Jr.). In addition, the law does not silence the whistle-blower completely but rather gives exemption to those who report mistreatment and abuses of animals to state authorities and their bosses.

The Editorial asserts that those who violate the law by secretly taping mistreatments of farm animals and sharing such recorded information can be sued for damaging the image of the business owner and would be fined $5,000 for every day the person is doing the recording (Editorial). This is not true. First, the ag-gag law only covers farm animals but not elderly patients. The laws protecting human beings are different from those protecting animals. Secondly, the Editorial assertions that the law protects against secret taping and sharing the information of mistreatment of the animals is not true as the law prevents not only secret taping but any form of taping be it open or secret. The law protects the recording of farm activities, and an individual can be taken to court for recording without sharing the information (Oppel Jr.). Thirdly, the penalty of those found guilty of breaking the ag-gag laws is not always $5,000 but rather defined by the court.

Besides, the Editorial quotes mistreatment and abuse of animals and gives some examples like too sick cows being drugged by neck across cement floors, pigs being stabbed and chicken being killed by throwing against walls (Editorial). It is not defined exactly to which extent handling an animal can be defined as an abuse or mistreatment. Unless it is defined by an animal care expert, some of the practices and actions in animal farms and slaughterhouses are neither mistreatment nor abuses. At times animals must be handled in a certain manner which may seem to be an abuse. For instance, when handling horses the handler may be forced to strike them hard to make them behave in a certain way and according to laymen understanding, it is a mistreatment but for an expert, it is the best practice. A good example is a process of soring where caustic chemicals are applied on horses’ in the effort of training the horse (Oppel Jr.). To eliminate this confusion animal care experts should define extends of animal treatment that may be termed as mistreatment or abuse. Also, technical training on handling of animals should be done to the farm employees and animal rights groups.

The board argues that the ag-gag law originally took care of factory farm exposes but when animal rights activists resisted the lawmakers pushed through the version that covered both factory farms and activists equally (Editorial). The argument by the Editorial is not true. The passed law was not equal for all. It favoured the animal farms more as activists were given conditions of presenting their cases. For instance, they were only allowed to report the animal mistreatment cases to state authorities and their bosses. To make the law equal for all, animal rights activists should be authorized to handle the information they collect from firms as they wish.

The Editorial says that the law gives exemption to those who report mistreatment and abuses of animals to state authorities and their bosses. This is done to prevent the information from reaching the public (Editorial). I am against this statement because it is not complete. The Editorial left a critical information of the maximum time of two days set for the government to collect to conduct investigations to ascertain whether there were abuses. This information was left out in the article, and it is very critical as it bars the readers from getting the real information.

Works Cited

EDITORIAL, B. (2016, February 1). No More Exposes in North Carolina. Retrieved from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/01/opinion/no-more-exposes-in-north-carolina.html

Oppel Jr., R. A. (2013, April 6). Taping of Farm Cruelty Is Becoming the Crime. Retrieved from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/us/taping-of-farm-cruelty-is-becoming-the-crime.html

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