Search Site
Menu
Ag-gag v. Whistleblowing

On February 8, 2013, Amy Meyer went to the Dale Smith Meatpacking Company in Draper City, Utah to see where her meat comes from. She peeked through the barbed wire fence and saw a sick cow being treated like rubble. She pulled out her smartphone and began filming the scene. For her good intentions, Meyer was charged with violating Utah’s ag-gag law.

What is an ag-gag bill?

Ag-gag bills are laws enacted to stop undercover investigators from penetrating factory farms with the goal of reporting animal abuse and other illegal behavior. Existing ag-gag laws generally:

  • Prohibit taking photos or videos of factory farms without permission
  • Criminalize investigators who obtain work at a factory farm
  • Require mandatory reporting within extremely short time periods so that no pattern of abuse can be recorded 

In addition to Utah, Kansas, Montana, Iowa and Missouri have ag-gag laws. In May, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam vetoed the state’s ag-gag bill. State representatives in California, New York and Minnesota repealed their ag-gag bills shortly after introducing them. 

Ag-gag bills take the air out of whistleblowers

Ag-gag bills essentially criminalize whistleblowing on factory farms and meat packing plants, keeping interested Americans from learning about how their meat is processed. Just like whistleblowing has exposed securities and accounting fraud, it has had an equally important role in revealing unsafe working conditions, animal abuse and environmental violations.

A whistleblower story

Jim Schrier worked as United States Department of Agriculture meat inspector for 29 years. Recently, he visited the Tyson Foods slaughter facility in Iowa where he reported clear humane handling violations. Schrier received an anger-filled response from his supervisor. One week later, Schrier was reassigned to another state. Now, he faces losing his livelihood because of whistleblowing.

If you have information concerning animal abuse or other humane handling violations at a farm factory, call an experienced Dallas whistleblower attorney to schedule a consultation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    #600
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
Testimonials
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.

FOLLOW US
Facebook Twitter Linkedin RSS Feed JD Supra