Iowa Public Radio: “Ag-gag” bills failed in 2013


Photo by Liberation BC; Flickr

“Ag-gag” refers to laws that make it illegal to photograph or shoot videos of internal operations of farms where food animals are being raised.

Animal rights groups  say abuse happens regularly out of view of the public and the law, and to expose it, they have to send in activists posing as ordinary workers, armed with video cameras.

Three states signed ag-gag bill into law in 2011 and 2012, setting new legal precedents. This year,  15 ag-gag bills were introduced in 11 states, but not a single one passed. 

For the full story, head over to Iowa Public Radio. 

40,000 salmon released into San Francisco Bay


Photo by USFWS Pacific Southwest Region, Flickr

Iowa no longer holds claim to the largest animal liberation in the U.S. A total of 60,000 salmon were released into San Francisco Bay from the Tiburon Salmon Institute. This release surpasses the 2000 liberation of 14,000 mink from a fur farm in New Hampton, Iowa.

40,000 salmon were initially released on October 3, but another effort four days later sent the remaining 20,000 salmon into San Francisco Bay. This occurred just weeks before the fish were set to be released by a group of teenagers who had been studying and taking care of them.

Some animal rights activists are praising this effort for freeing the salmon from unhealthy confines. However, according to the Mercury News, there is some speculation that the vandals were misinformed about the purpose of the Tiburon Salmon Institute:

The salmon institute’s director of education said there is no proof so far that the perpetrators are from an animal rights organization.

“But from what we’ve been reading on the Internet, there have been groups assuming we’re farming fish, which is not what we’re doing,” she said. “We are using these fish to educate the community on the declining salmon population, and also helping to repopulate the salmon here in the bay. “Whoever did this, they could have come in and at least talked to us about what we’re actually doing here. The fish aren’t suffering. We’re taking very good care of them.”