June 25th, 2014
08:45 PM ET
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CNN Exclusive by CNN Investigative Correspondent Chris Frates

Wake County, North Carolina - Chickens buried alive. Pigs so sick that their intestines hang out of their bodies. These are some of the grisly scenes from videos taken by animal rights activists who went undercover at farms that produce food destined for dinner tables.

It’s a tactic animal rights activists have used for years, going undercover at slaughterhouses and factory farms to document squalid conditions, abuse and neglect. Their videos have gone mainstream and led to criminal charges, fines and even the largest meat recall in American history.

But undercover video is under attack and with it, activists argue, their ability to expose animal abuses that can make meat dangerous to eat.

Blog: Erin Burnett Out Front

Increasingly, industries that have been infiltrated and exposed by undercover activists are counterpunching. In state capitols around the country, the agriculture industry is pushing legislation that would essentially outlaw undercover investigations and the videos they produce.

In the past two years, three states have passed so-called “ag-gag” laws while 14 others have considered similar legislation, according to The Humane Society of the United States.

Matthew Dominguez of the Humane Society, said undercover investigations are a critical tool activists use to keep a secretive industry in check.

“These investigations have exposed not only animal abuse but also food safety, workers’ rights, environmental issues,” he said. “These ag-gag bills should scare every American because Americans have a right to know what’s happening with their food. They have a right to know where their food is coming from.”

Shocking footage from a chicken farm

Prince Poultry is a chicken farm less than an hour southwest of Raleigh, North Carolina. Posing as a college intern, an employee with the animal-rights group Compassion Over Killing filmed workers burying chickens alive among other decaying birds.

In one scene from the video given to CNN, she asks whether a farm hand is going to kill a bird destined for the burial pit.

“No, we’re going to drop them in the pit just like they are,” the worker responds. “You dump them in there and then Mother Nature takes care of the rest. You go in there in the summertime, and it smells real nice over there. If you look down in there, it’s like a gravy that’s simmering and squirming.”

In an interview, the undercover activist, who did not want to be identified, said, “I saw cruel practices every day I was on the farm from the first day to the final day. I'd say everything that you see in the footage is standard there.”

It’s that kind of footage that North Carolina state Sen. Brent Jackson has proposed outlawing. Animal activists say it’s an effort to lock the barn door and keep the public in the dark.

On the floor of the state Senate, we wanted to ask Jackson about his proposal. It was a short conversation.

“I don’t have anything to say to CNN,” the Republican state lawmaker responded.

The North Carolina Poultry Federation and the North Carolina Chamber also declined to talk about Jackson’s proposal.

On the farm where the chickens were buried alive, owner Tim Prince said he was surprised to learn that his former intern was actually an undercover animal rights activist.

“She's taken six weeks of work and narrowed it down to a few bad things I’ve done. And I’ve done it. It's obvious,” Prince told CNN. “She took just a very minute little things that we’ve done wrong.”

Pressed on that point, Prince admitted that people might think burying chickens alive is more than a small transgression and that the birds should have been killed more humanely. But, he says, he does care for his birds. After all, they are his livelihood.

“I try to run a clean business. And there was a few things on there I saw that shouldn’t happen,” he said, adding that he worried how the video would affect his business.

'His choice in terms of how to operate his facility'

The head of the group that produced the video has little sympathy for the chicken farmer.

“What we documented is how he is operating his facility, and it’s unfortunate that what we documented is so egregious that we hope that state authorities will get involved and prosecute this case for burying birds alive,” said Compassion Over Killing executive director Erica Meier. “That was his choice in terms of how to operate his facility.”

The group said it has filed a complaint with local law enforcement authorities. A spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Justice confirmed that the State Bureau of Investigation has opened an investigation into alleged animal cruelty at Prince Poultry.

Prince grows about a million chickens a year exclusively for Pilgrim's Pride - the second largest chicken producer in the world that sells chicken to major supermarkets and fast-food restaurants.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we have retrained the grower in question and his employees,” Pilgrim's said in a statement to CNN. “Pilgrim's prioritizes the welfare of our chickens, whether under our direct care or under the care of our contract growers. The proper treatment of animals is one of our core beliefs."

Perhaps one of the most shocking things about factory farms is that there’s almost no one watching them. There is little federal oversight so undercover activists are often the only way abuses are uncovered.

An undercover video shot by a PETA employee shows what the group says are lame and sick pigs left to languish in a so-called junk pen, without veterinary care. At the Wisconsin farm owned by Babcock Genetics, the pigs were so sick their intestines hung out their bodies while others were unable to walk, PETA said. The animal rights group filed a complaint with the local district attorney, who confirmed his office is reviewing it.

In the complaint, PETA included the opinion of experts in veterinarian medicine and pig production.

“They were unanimous in saying that these animals suffered unnecessary and excessive pain,” said PETA’s Dan Paden, adding the animals either needed immediate veterinarian care or to be put down.

If the pigs survived, they would be sold for meat to a slaughterhouse where they would then be inspected, he said.

Could consumers' health be at risk?

Some experts say it might not be safe to eat. Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said the meat could carry a deadly infection.

“When you look at this kind of footage, what you are really seeing is a cauldron that is just producing bacteria that get into the food that ultimately makes its way into your home,” said Barnard, whose organization advocates a plant-based diet.

“As a doctor,” he said, “I would advise any parent who has ever had a sick kid to realize that these illnesses come from somewhere. Very often they come from the fact that animals are abused and are sick on farms, and we didn’t realize that we were bringing that disease into our homes, threatening our own family.”

Babcock’s company veterinarian, Darwin Kohler, said PETA’s allegations were untrue, even before he saw the video.

“Any allegations are false, because I know what goes on in the barn,” he said.

Eventually, Kohler watched the video, twice, and said it was taken out of context.

"We are committed to caring for animals in a way that protects their well-being. ... A third-party audit of the farm in question is being conducted,” the company said in a statement to CNN. “Based on the audit's findings, we will make appropriate corrective actions if needed."

In both cases, it was the undercover activists' video that brought alleged mistreatment to light. But if supporters of ag-gag laws are successful, these kind of exposés would essentially be outlawed and the abuses they uncover kept behind closed doors.

This story was reported in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Minnesota. CNN’s Glen Dacy contributed.

Blog: Erin Burnett Out Front
Opinion: Exposing animal cruelty is not a crime
Do consumers really want to see where their food comes from?
'Ag gag' laws suppress animal cruelty whistleblowers
Blocking 'ag gag' laws may prolong abuse
What the 'ag gag' bills mean to my farm
Farming in a fishbowl

soundoff (635 Responses)
  1. sandcanyongal

    I've had pet hogs. They shouldn't be eaten. They're intelligent way beyond edibility. Anyone who wants to eat meat should have to kill your animal yourself. Take the life yourself and feel their pain.

    August 14, 2014 at 2:00 am |
  2. Tetsuo

    This bleeding-heart "save the animals" crap stinks worse than the pits their carcasses are thrown into.

    These animals are being bred and raised for the sole purpose of human consumption. Disposing of dead, diseased or injured animals is an unfortunate but necessary part of this industry. If you like to eat meat, this is what it takes.

    Consumers don't want to see it, but this is the harsh reality of what must occur behind the scenes if you want to be able to buy a whole, cooked chicken at your local supermarket for $7. If an animal is sick or injured, it's just not worth the cost to give it extra care – even if that cost is only a dollar or two.

    America has some of the cheapest meat in the world. Unless you want to pay $12 per lb of ground beef or pork chops this is what you have to live with.

    August 12, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
    • Mels K

      While it's convenient to be fatalistic, the current circumstance is NOT the 'only way' if you want to eat meat. The other option would be buying from small farmers who raised animals humanely, and while those prices are initially higher (as they are right now), their prices could eventually decrease if more people purchased from them. The only reason prices are so cheap for these poor animals is due to the amount of unaware people purchasing from these commercial farms.

      You are entitled to your opinion (as am I) but the lack of empathy apparent from your comment is exactly what people fear and disgust about humanity. I hope you're able to reflect on this industry a bit more before coming to such a flippant conclusion about ethical business practices, animal rights, and human rights.

      August 13, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
      • sandcanyongal

        Mels K. You are a clueless bundle of pig crap. My hogs have more soul than you. So does a rock.

        August 14, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
  3. Devon

    Outlawing these videos would be censorship at its worst. Where the utility of an act far outweighs its potential consequences, why should it be discouraged? I would agree that activists may go overboard at times, but if they're exposing such severe acts of animal abuse, why shouldn't such filming be allowed? "Protect small businesses, keep our food sources alive, 'these birds are my livelihood.'" The list goes on and on. But what are we really losing by preventing these videos? We're losing an informed consumer base. We're losing our right to advocate for things we believe in. We're preventing the humane treatment of animals who can't speak for themselves.

    I'm a meat eater. I love meat. But I also believe that a civilized society should not partake in such egregious acts of abuse.

    August 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
  4. John

    It will be an obscenity on the American government if these videos are outlawed – treat animals humanely and you don't need to fear videos.

    Of course it's also obscene that the supreme court of the US allowed crush videos to be legal – simply unbelievable.

    August 10, 2014 at 11:33 am |
    • JellyBean

      I just googled that. W T F is wrong with people? Holy cr ap!

      August 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
  5. Elena

    All human beings are commingled out of good and evil. Choose what side of you want to win. Killing tendencies is a sign of insensitivity, arrogance and luck of compassion. It is ingrained in us and we should remove it completely. if you can kill animals, the chance is big that you can kill humans if the circumstances come your way. They train soldiers to kill animals first then go and kill innocent people in other countries. That's how the conscious is killed. Wake up and dig your goodness deep inside of you. We all have it, but it's covered with crap. I'm talking to the old fashioned ones, who are proud of having the most disgusting trace in them – luck of compassion and greediness for their glutinous appetite.

    August 5, 2014 at 9:52 am |
  6. JellyBean

    Truly sad.

    August 5, 2014 at 9:28 am |
  7. Lauren Thomasson

    Good for you, CNN, for continuing to educate the public on all things surrounding the plight of exploited animals, whether it be for food (this investigation) or entertainment (airing Blackfish). The public is becoming increasingly aware to these issues, thanks to you, and we are all so thrilled that you continue to help animals by airing segments like this. Animals everywhere need this platform, so thank you!

    July 17, 2014 at 3:17 am |
  8. Name*Anita Carter

    There would be no need for Abuse Videos if there would be an Outcry of more Consumers on the undescribable abuse of Farm Animals and the filthy raised meat as there was and is concerning Cigarettes. I don't think the Majority of people want to know where there food comes from and that Pus and Blood is in their Milk...Cancer Causing Arsenic in Chicken...Rat Urine in Flour which means bread...that Cows are ground alive with poop on them where they have lived in poop up to their knees and ground into Hamburger Meat.

    July 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
  9. Jose

    If you want to know just how dumb these animal rights PETA types are just check out the controversy surrounding the picture of Steven Speilberg with the dinosaur that he so cruelly hunted down and murdered. Ha ha ha.What a bunch of urban ret@rds.

    July 14, 2014 at 5:03 am |
    • Gregg H

      No, that's how dumb a bunch of news organizations are that couldn't understand people playing along with a joke.

      July 14, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
    • Lauren Thomasson

      You do realize the Steven Spielberg article has NOTHING to do with PETA?

      July 17, 2014 at 3:22 am |
      • Lauren Thomasson

        and it wasn't "PETA" people who fell for it.. it was the general public totally separate from PETA.

        July 17, 2014 at 3:24 am |
      • ahimsaforever

        Jose is probably just a PETA hater who believes people should be able to do anything they want to animals and not get in trouble. Just another example of the anthropocentrism dominant in the cuture and the domionionism taught by religion. Some people never outgrow that and hate the organizations who fight for animals.

        August 12, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • ahimsaforever

      Isn't it strange, Jose, that so many of the people who work in these facillities and who are videotaped being so cruel and abusive have names like yours. Doubt that is escaping notice.

      August 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
  10. Steve

    So sick and tired of this EXTREMIST urban vegan human filth.Unfortunantley this isn't going to stop until some of these creeps get their faces bashed in.It is time to take the fight to these urban loud mouth radical animal rights retards and show them we mean business.Okay I am angry and I really don't believe in harming anyone but in self defense but tell ya what someone throws red paint or blood on you put them in the hospital and some radical animal rights terrorist threatens your family put them in the morgue

    July 13, 2014 at 11:49 am |
    • Marie

      From what I hear the opposition (hunters,farmers,scientists etc) are already having a devastating effect on these losers with ALF ambushes,AETA,hunter interference laws,Ag-Gag laws,online databases for outing criminal trespassers.You've heard about "Bite back" now there is an opposition group called "Fight Back" Why is it that if these weirdos believe they hold the moral imperative why are so many of them in jail?

      July 13, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
      • Lee

        We live in southwest Texas where "ALF ambushes" are very common. We have very little problems with these animal rights criminals because they are terrified of this country.The last criminal video alterer caught here did not fare to well. I am afraid brutal force maybe the only way to deal with these peta/alf/hsus freaks.

        July 13, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
        • Lauren

          I'm afraid that with the unjust torture and suffering inflicted upon animals, undercover investigators exposing the TRUTH and CRUELTY behind factory farms is the only way to "deal" with the nonsense that is the meat and dairy industries. Not to mention how meat and dairy, which is impossibly to obtain humanely like so many believe, is scientifically proven, detrimental for human health. And you do realize that PETA, the ALF, and HSUS are three ENTIRELY different organizations with three ENTIRELY different missions and strategies? Get with the times, and out of Texas. Millions and millions of people are going vegan, not just vegetarian, but VEGAN, because of the cruelty inherent in farming animals, not to mention the environmental and health benefits that come along with going vegan.

          July 17, 2014 at 3:33 am |
        • Lauren

          I'm afraid that with the unjust torture and suffering inflicted upon animals, undercover investigators exposing the TRUTH and CRUELTY behind factory farms is the only way to "deal" with the nonsense that is the meat and dairy industries. Not to mention how meat and dairy, which is impossibly to obtain humanely like so many believe, is scientifically proven, detrimental for human health. And you do realize that PETA, the ALF, and HSUS are three ENTIRELY different organizations with three ENTIRELY different missions and strategies? Get with the times, and out of Texas. Millions and millions of people are going vegan, not just vegetarian, but VEGAN, because of the cruelty inherent in farming animals, not to mention the environmental and health benefits of going vegan.

          July 17, 2014 at 3:35 am |
  11. Danielle yoder

    This is outrageous! What needs to be outlawed is animal cruelty!!! NOT the right to fight for animal cruelty!!! What kind of world r we living in!!!! This is just disgusting! I'm grossed out by humans!

    July 11, 2014 at 10:16 am |
    • Marie

      Oh grow up stupid. You ever been outside a city park? Amazing how brain dead some people can be. Nutjobs like you would have the world believe that if you do not tow their line you are an animal abuser .Kind of like if you don't agree with Obama you are racist.

      July 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
    • Jay

      AMERICA HAS TURNED INTO THE POSTERS ABOVE. So much for the country our forefathers created. There is no longer a true democracy. Just and Oligarchy, with a bunch of bullying morons and liars keeping the sheeple in line.

      July 14, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
  12. beba rocha

    Please keep exposing their dirty secrets! The truth will set humans and animals free! Thank you!

    July 10, 2014 at 11:53 pm |
  13. youtube.com/losewithbam

    I don't think those videos should be outlawed. You really should have nothing to hide anyways. Treat your animals right and you wont be the center of one of those videos, simple as that.

    July 10, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
  14. Nikki

    This is an act of depravity, this is how it starts the indifference to suffering by any living creature whether human or animal, this is how sick individuals grow from children to adults they are exposed to this kind of depravity and mockery of life, if you can do this or approve of this then you seriously have something wrong with you. One step away from being able to kill a person. We should all be allowed to know what goes on at these places if activist don't protect the animals and bring to light these horrific atrocities then who will. Government censorship is just a way to have to not do a job and make sure animals get treated with respect...By God if they are Good enough to give their lives to feed humans then they are Good enough to be treated properly......Stop all this insanity and reveal what is truly going on at these slaughter houses. They are not farms they are slaughter houses....

    July 10, 2014 at 4:15 am |


      July 11, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
  15. Evelyn Ball

    When you have so called humans treating non human animals like they are worthless, it sure proves how disgusting humans are. Glad I don't consume dead animals. Don't need to.

    July 9, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
  16. wendygoerl

    It seems straightforward, but recently in my state, there was an activist video that had a lot of people up in arms. The problem is, half the video involved the "abuse" of a downed cow they were trying to get on its feet. People who don't deal with cattle don't realize that a downed cow is in a life-threatening situation. Handlers do what they have to do to get it on its feet. How do you do that? With noxious stimuli. A human in a similar situation might be stimulated with a few light slaps to the face or a swat on the butt, but cows' skin is thicker, the most useful and available stimuli comes from the handlers' feet. Uneducated activists film this medical intervention as evidence of "abuse" that is "routinely" being practiced.

    July 9, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
    • Nikki

      I've seen video's of Cows down but they weren't being urged to get up they were being pushed out of the area by a front end loader they were rolled and shoved until they were moved out of sight of the people these were sick cows with cow disease.....regardless of the fact they were dying they should have been put to sleep humanely and then the body removed not shoved around alive with fear and terror on their faces. This took place at a slaughter house and an cattle auction place so the poor people wouldn't see the possibility of them maybe buying a cow that could have the same condition....HUMANE TREATMENT FOR ALL ANIMALS whether pets or not!

      July 10, 2014 at 4:26 am |
  17. *Gracirla Lallier

    It is outrageous to see what these devils are doing. I cannot understand how this despicable conduct can be allow in a country that is supposed to have Christian values. Where is the compassion for these individual. The Republicans should not be backing this kind of conduct, where decency toward the weak does not exist.

    July 9, 2014 at 11:47 am |
    • wendygoerl

      This is a country that is SUPPOSED to separate Church and State. Stop thinking your "Christian" values are universal.

      July 9, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
      • Joseph D Sanzo III

        wow here we go, yes you are right about separating Church & State BUT Look at America Now & Before . If we didn't take church or our GOD out of state, & left it alone, we the USA would not be in this position we are in Now .This is all together separated from the whole thing altogether now

        July 9, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
      • ahimsaforever

        I thought good and moral Christian behavior should be carried throughout life. What hypocrisy it would be if Christians were only supposed to behave well in church and then separate that from the rest of their lives. So cruelty to animals, theft, murder just cannot occur in church but elsewhere it's okay. What a deal!

        August 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • Ryan

      "Christian values" is exactly what is causing this animal abuse - remember, genesis 1-26 & 28.. It's a sick, sick ideology, which imbues followers with a delusional sense of divine superiority over the other life we share the planet with..

      July 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
    • Lauren

      Many people choose a vegan, cruelty-free lifestyle free of exploiting animals in order to TRULY put to practice their spiritual and religious beliefs, including practicing Christians. How can “Christianity” that is supposed to represent God’s love and respect for one another be practiced through the mindless torture, slaughter, and disregard for other beings we share this planet with? Just because they can’t communicate in the way that humans do, doesn’t mean they suffer any less. Do you honestly believe in your heart that God intended animals for humans to inflict such pain and cruelty upon? Therefore, yes, it is still "Christian" to go in and expose the unjust cruelty that IS animal agriculture. Use your brain and not your blind faith.

      July 17, 2014 at 3:41 am |
  18. Neva

    I personally feel that "ag-gag" laws are immoral if not unconstitutional. This law basically makes it illegal to do the right thing. If you learn about something and it makes you feel sick to your stomach, it's wrong and you know it. You may not admit it...you may rationalize it and make excuses, but you know in your head, heart & gut that it's wrong. At that point, legal or not, it's wrong. That's the kind of moral compass that we need to listen to because if we do not, we will be just like the sheep that followed the Nazis and committed all sorts of wrongdoing that was "legal." When the lawmakers obviously have no conscience, it's up to us to follow our own conscience and do what's right. Regardless of whether animals are being used for food, they are living, feeling beings and deserve to be treated in a humane way. To do any less makes us much lower than the animals we mistreat.

    July 9, 2014 at 8:17 am |
    • wendygoerl

      And what if what you thought you saw wasn't what it seemed to be? These days an accusation, even if based on false assumptions, can destroy hundreds, if not thousands of lives.

      July 9, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
      • Bella

        Right! Lives! That is why 150 billions of animals must die for sowmething that makes people sick & planet die every year?!
        ECOLVE – eating animals is primitive & disgusting & bad for humans even if this carnistic greedy corporations driven dominant culture is tryin to tell us otherwise! LEAVE THE F$&# ANIMALS ALONE – we do not need them for anything!

        July 9, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
        • Aggie Smolecki

          Amen Bella! I couldn't have said it any better.

          July 9, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
      • ahimsaforever

        The videos by undercover investigators are exactly what they look like–barbaric treatment of animals. It is hard to misinterpret burying birds alive, throwing baby pigs onto concrete floors for "euthanasia," striking animals with pitchforks, kicking and punching them in the face, castrating without anesthetics. If none of that is so bad, then why do people get put in jail for doing much less violence to another human being. We're just saying we have the right to torture some animals but not others.

        August 12, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
  19. ArmchairFllyer

    I'm not a lawyer, but it seems pretty clear that Ag-Gag laws are in violation of the First Amendment and will have to be stricken down when they're Challenged in court. I'm wondering what court challenges have been made and where they are in the courts now. Does anyone know?

    I really like Walter Carrol's suggestion of laws requiring that animal abuse like this be reported! That is the case now in many states for child abuse and elder abuse; maybe some day it will be extended to animal abuse . . . but it won't be now because Big Ag businesses have too much power to influence legislation. And the only way to turn that around will probably be to amend the constitution to state that corporations are not people and political donations are not entitled to protection as free speech. And that is on the horizon, but has a long ways to go.

    July 9, 2014 at 2:15 am |
    • wendygoerl

      We're also entitled to be secure in our private property. Many activists are trespassing under false pretenses for the express purpose of conducting an unwarranted search intended to defame the character of the landholder.

      July 9, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
      • Han

        Oh, you poor poor thing, did somebody invade your privacy while you were just doing your decent and honest job?

        July 9, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
      • Nikki

        It shouldn't be private property if it involves lives that provide food for consumers/customers if they aren't doing anything wrong then they shouldn't have to worry about being seen, Beside what part of taking baby pigs and tossing them like footballs and slamming them down on the concrete is an act of trying to get downed animal up for health reasons or beating pigs and sheep, sticking objects in their rears, cutting ears off while alive, cutting hooves off while alive, forcing a pig to live in confinement that doesn't allow them to move or stand, forcing cows to stay in small quarters to produce tender liver for human consumption, throwing small chicks or other hens and roosters into pits while alive and burying them, torturous behavior towards other animals. These are not acts of helping they are acts of a person without a conscious that one day may be out there on the street doing to humans what he did to animals but is no longer satisfied with killing animals now wants a human to do this to maybe it will be one or your relatives....would that be okay with you then??????

        July 10, 2014 at 4:35 am |
      • ahimsaforever

        So why can the police enter a house and take a computer to check for suspected child pornography. They are violating private property. If abuse is going on within private property, we have no right to find out?

        August 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
  20. Jenna

    Those hillbillies in North Carolina are so backwards, of course they will pass a law like this. I have friends that moved there because the cost of living is so low. You get what you pay for down there. They're moving out of that dump.

    July 9, 2014 at 12:58 am |
  21. Candice Spangler

    We NEED undercover cameras for the protection of these beautiful souls. The police install cameras in their cars to keep everything above board. Same goes here. We must evolve into a humane society, now.

    July 9, 2014 at 12:08 am |
    • Lauren

      Couldn't have been better said, Candice!

      July 17, 2014 at 3:47 am |
  22. Joseph D Sanzo III

    First of all you people are all stupid, Weather its food on that table or not, I am a Hunter and we shot animals to eat but we shot to kill them to eat not make them suffer to eat. So whatever this video means ,I don't think they are wrong to film it ,the ones doing it are wrong Period & weather its a business or just people they all should be fined and stop NOW .I don't care if the business goes out of business because this is a must be stopped now.

    July 8, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
    • Rhae Ann Marie

      Your first sentence; "First of all you people are all stupid, Weather its food on that table or not, I am a Hunter".

      It's "whether". The other refers to the climate.

      Big deal that you claim to be a hunter. There are millions of you out there and hunting has been around since the beginning of time on earth. The issue has to do with inhumane treatment of animals and causing them unnecessary pain and suffering.

      Have you had your Cholesterol checked recently? I'm just curious. If you're past 45 I'll bet you're overweight and have high cholesterol... not to mention some other illnesses waiting in the wings. Do yourself a favor and watch the documentary film, "Forks Over Knives" – and learn something about the meat-eating diet of yours.

      July 9, 2014 at 12:06 am |
      • Joseph D Sanzo III

        smile this is who I am talking about a real chooch you don't even know what I am talking about. I am against this .I told you in thew beginning that the way i write might not make sense to a few, and you see this one Rhae Ann Marie is one of them that don't understand me.

        July 9, 2014 at 9:32 pm |
    • SC animal activist

      Really, Joseph, all of us are stupid?? We're not talking about people hunting to eat, we're talking about inhumane torture of animals. By the way, you might want to check a dictionary before you call other people stupid.

      July 9, 2014 at 1:37 am |
      • wendygoerl

        Do you know the proper way to hunt with a spear? You don't deliver the death blow with a single spear throw. You aim at the flank or an area likely to draw a lot of blood. It may take several spears to get it bleeding. Then you follow the animal until it's too exhausted from blood loss to stand and finish it off with a knife, or just start butchering it when it gets too weak to fight back. That's the way humans got meat for millions of years before we learned to make a bow strong enough (and an arrowhead sharp enough) to put an arrow through the heart. Makes a lot of modern "inhumane" slaughter methods downright merciful, doesn't it?

        July 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • Han

          I wish you'd reinarnate into an animal farm. See how you'd like the treatment.

          July 10, 2014 at 12:00 am |
        • ahimsaforever

          Guess it's too bad there are human beings on this earth. We were bloodthirsty from the beginning. I keep wondering how members of religious communities can stand to worship a god who could allow such suffering to his creation. Oh, maybe he is cruel too. He did kill his son.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
    • SC animal activist

      Sorry Joseph. I didn't read your entire post. I thought you were saying that filming this was wrong. I apologize for my remarks.

      July 9, 2014 at 1:38 am |
      • Joseph D Sanzo III

        thank you I saw the first comment ,yes one should read all the way through before making a comment, But yes not all people are stupid only some, or maybe I should of said they were Chooches, smile in Italian means ( jackasses ) That too should not be said but i had to explain it .sorry Also like to say I am not a good writer ,some times its just better for me to say it by just talking out load because I can't write good or I write as I talk.

        July 9, 2014 at 5:52 am |
      • FACTS Expert

        You weren't wrong about him grabbing a dictionary though.

        July 9, 2014 at 6:36 am |
  23. KT

    What are the abusers worried about if they felt they did nothing wrong? However, same time they don't want the public – who provide their profits to see the truth behind the closed doors. Kudos to the brave "protectors" who educate the public of their "business" ways.

    July 8, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
  24. Name*Anita Carter

    I shouldn't comment as I can not read or watch any more videos as it just burdens me so much but I am thrilled when I see 100,000 petitions signed for numerous abuses. ..none of my friends will get involved....there needs to be an outcry as it was against Cigarette Smoke as experts state on Google that MEAT JUST AS DANGEROUS AS CIGARETTES AND THE MOST UNHEALTHY MEAT IN HUMAN HISTORY.

    July 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
  25. A Card

    Just trying to break up Emily's Posts.

    July 8, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
    • Rhae Ann Marie

      I read through a lot of the comments here and would like to encourage all of you to view the documentary film, "Forks Over Knives". It has completely changed my way of looking at the big business of factory farms and my own, personal diet. Both of the doctors who contribute the majority of solid research to the film grew up on farms. "Forks Over Knives" is chalked full of data, facts, and multiple view points. It may change your paradigm forever. It did mine.

      July 8, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
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    July 3, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
  27. El

    I'd like to know if any charges were brought against Pilgrim's Pride for their animal abuse.

    July 2, 2014 at 11:27 am |
    • Lisa Scharin

      You can call the USDA or e-mail them and ask them to charge this facility. Go to their website too and let them know what you think about what they are doing!! Ask the Department of Justice and Bureau of Investigation to look into this and punish them!

      July 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
  28. Walter Carroll

    In Alabama, the second largest poultry producing state, state laws prohibit the kind of disposal pits seen in the video. The poultry industry, because of stringent bio-security concerns, can seem very opaque and closed to outsiders. And, yes, I am involved in the poultry industry, however, I do not favor the so-called ag-gag laws. Those laws would make it seem that the industry does, in fact, have something to hide. Rather than a ban on undercover video taping, I would like to see a requirement that anyone witnessing animal abuse be required to report that abuse within 24 hours. This would give the authorities the ability to respond and discontinue the abuse. The videos could be used to properly document the abuse in a court of law and not at a later date in an effort to inflame public opinion. If the abuse is not promptly reported, it makes the videographer guilty of abetting the abuser. It goes to the motivation behind the undercover work, is it to stop abuse or to raise money for some animal rights organization?

    June 30, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
    • Lisa Scharin

      I have certainly seen enough videos and pictures to know all about the egregious practices and treatment of these poor animals in factory farms! They consider it "standard" and just "collateral damage" if animals die before they can be processed into "food" People TRULY need to know what is going on behind these doors and as a Democractic society, Ag Gag laws are unconstitutional- we have the right to know and should know!
      I haven't eaten animals in about 40 years now, I feel great and look 10 or more years younger than most people my age, I run, swim, workout on a daily basis. There is NO need to eat animals-you can get ALL your protein and essential amino acids from plants, beans and fruits. The World Health Organization has also warned that agribusiness in it's "from" today is a major threat to our environment and health! 80% of our antiibiotics go to these animals to keep them alive long enough to slaughter them, the conditions are so unsanitary and unhealthy! It IS GROSS when you think about eating the flesh, blood and bone of a living, feeling being!!! GO VEGAN and NO one gets hurt!!! I have also done undercover video for circuses and it's there too!

      July 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
      • Lee

        So you are a criminal? Beware there are now several online sites where people collaborate information to identify people like you.

        July 14, 2014 at 3:25 am |
    • Ron M.

      What you are sugesting is in itself a gag rule. It can take days, weeks, or longer to show that what is being done is sistemic, and not an aborition. When they are prosecuted, the simply claim it was one employ who was at fault, and only this one time. It must be proven that this is company policy, and that take time. pluse, it is the health aspects that are the most disconcerting, and that must be addressed imideatly. I truly think that addressing this will infact help to address the humane issues.

      July 8, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
  29. Jen

    AG-GAG laws have to be stopped. I'll never understand how anyone could be so cruel and selfish.

    June 30, 2014 at 11:32 am |
  30. Inciteful

    Armed robbers should petition the government to force banks, convenience stores, gas stations, etc. to remove their video cameras.

    June 30, 2014 at 3:45 am |
  31. Dude Love

    It's sickening that legislation like that could even be considered. Make these industries "transparent" and have the NSA so far up their_asses you can see cameras in the back of their mouths when they speak.

    June 30, 2014 at 3:15 am |
  32. Ken

    The more laws on this the better. YOU may not want to eat meat or harm animals. Me, I willing to put anything and everything on the charcoal grill. And yes it's charcoal .. for that extra bang of putting CO2 into the air as the briquettes burn. Makes the meat taste better. I really do not give a damn how they treat my meat, as that's all it is to me .. something to eat. Why I have a lovely catalog from Allen Brothers in front of me with some of the greatest steaks you can buy. Cabassi Waygu steaks at $100 per 10 oz steak. Do you think that to get the beef so finely marbles in fat that they allow the cows to move around? Of course not. You don't see the Japanese wringing their hands over how the poor Kobe cattle are treated, or over the killing of Whales. It's all food, that's all it is. And the cheaper you can get the really tasty food to my table the better.

    June 30, 2014 at 12:50 am |
    • Ann

      You are a SICK person.

      June 30, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
      • Thinking things through

        I suspect (hope) he's being sarcastic... That tone of typer thang...

        June 30, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
    • Ken's Mother

      Ken's mom here. Ken is angry because when I was carrying him in my dirty womb, I once made an adult movie involving two male camels and 6 gallons of lubricant. Don't be angry at him, he just got smacked in the head by camel genitalia too many times while I carried him. This is why he hates animals.

      July 8, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
      • Rhae Ann Marie

        I'm glad to know there's some explanation. Thanks, Ken's Mom. I thought maybe he had been living under a bridge too long... wearing a funny hat and strange pants.

        July 8, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
      • ahimsaforever

        Bummer! Too bad he survived it.

        August 12, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
    • Aggie Smolecki

      Someday Mr. Ken- May Karma slap you in the face.place. How would you like to feel the pain of being hung upside down, have your throat slashed and bleed to death so that selfish a-holes ( like yourself) can stuff their ugly faces with meat.

      July 9, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
      • Lee

        You are nutjob.

        July 14, 2014 at 3:27 am |
  33. George

    If one of my employees mistreats so much as a mouse he is fired.

    June 29, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
  34. yourmom

    Whistle blowers be dam'd! More protection for greedy corporations!

    June 29, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
  35. thetruth

    Of course Republicans want to protect their business sponsors and bury as much of their wrong doing as far as possible....yet they have no trouble with taping employees every move....as long as the owners are held accountable..I guess

    June 29, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
  36. Patrish Dehler

    If you notice all the states that are for the gag orders come from Republicans. It makes me sick that our farm animals have to suffer so much. There is no reason for it. You can raise them, and kill them quickly and humanely and still stuff your face with meat. I am optimistic that those that enjoy deliver pain will develop a very painful disease to die from. Karma is a bitch no matter how long it takes.

    June 29, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
  37. frontgate

    Southerners are totally a screw-up group of people.

    June 29, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
    • Just a Thought...

      "This story was reported in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Minnesota. CNN’s Glen Dacy contributed."

      June 29, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
  38. ug

    Good...it keeps the lib terrorists from trespassing and lying like thy always do.

    June 29, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
    • Thinking things through

      What's with this silly "lib" thing? Were you traumatized by a vegan as a child?

      There's been at least one really cool and honest self-proclaimed ultraconservative on this thread who thinks the notion you apparently advocate is nuts (not his word). I fully respect him, and probably agree with him on a lot of other things we have yet to discuss.

      I eat meat, I eat veggies. I want to eat healthy meat and healthy veggies. I think having the ability to KNOW what I am choosing to ingest is important to me. Yes, those people who make fake docudramas about what really is NOT in our food or NOT happening to our food sources should be prosecuted for lying. But otherwise, I believe in a a fully-informed electorate. The Ag concealment bills as currently written are Big Brother unleashed.

      June 29, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
      • MisterPL

        You just spent entirely too much time replying to this closed-minded individual but it's nice to know there are more reasonable people still out here.

        June 29, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
      • Loulou Von Spiel

        I would very much like to see the fake vids you are discussing. Doesn't look like they are needed from what I have read and seen so out of curiouslity, any links you'd care to share? Thanks in advance.

        July 1, 2014 at 7:47 am |
  39. jim

    Is it any surpise that it's republican senators like Sen. Brent Jackson who support big AG doing cruel and disgusting acts to animals without regard for health and caring or the safety and health of the people who eat it?

    I swear, I'm embarrassed to once have voted republican. They've become a union of evil and I will never vote GOP again. The GOP makes me sick.

    June 29, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
    • StingIsTheTruth

      Yeah cause eating... something we don't need to do... right "End of secret animal abuse videos?" End of paid for and staged videos you mean.

      June 29, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
  40. Kilroy

    It's readily obvious that many of our elected officials are taking money under the table from big business. Mostly Republicans but not all. Instead of being outraged by the things being done to torture animals they are actually trying to outlaw filming someone breaking the law. Now I ask you this, Would they outlaw someone robbing a bank? Of course not. They have cameras in banks just for that purpose. Police and FBI record and film people breaking the law ALL THE TIME. We can see such videos on TV on cop shows.

    Does anyone really believe such laws would holdup in court? No, but these republicans have to please their big donors. Does anyone remember the "Internet Decency Act"? Newt Gingrinch stood on the podium of the House and said, "On its face it appears unconstitutional but I vote aye". So the fact that Republicans knowingly pass unconstitutional laws is a matter of record. Gotta keep those big donors happy.

    Test the law in court. If all you are doing is filming violations of law they can not do anything to you. The courtsd will throw the law out the window. Then the republicans can tell their donors, "We passed the law you asked for but the court declared it unconstitutional. We can't control what the courts do". Just like they did with the Internet Decency Act.

    June 29, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
  41. Sabine M

    We just had an undercover operation here in Canada with a cattle farm .They have 3500 milk cows and there was proof shown of major miss treatment.that is a lot of milk.We called for a boycott of their product.More than 100.000 .The buyer of all the milk from that farm suspended the delivery of that farm.They had to dump all the milk for a few days.The Veterinarien also stated that the cows were healthy and not hurt.But the video showed differently.Undercower work must never stop.We must support the people that bring animal abuse to light ,no matter of the consequence. Boycott works.

    June 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
    • ug

      No it doesn't.

      June 29, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
  42. J Wiggins

    Only Big AG would want to hide all of this. Do not vote for Big Ag representatives.

    June 29, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
    • ug

      Vote for big AG people.

      June 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
  43. Jessica McGwin

    I come from a farming family. Generational farmers. I am against the AG- GAG laws. Not because I have an unrealistic view of where our food comes from but because as we have seen in this Administration and Congress the health and wealth of the American public is not even on the agenda. It is all money right now thinking. ME ME ME. Not US US US.
    I the voter and tax payer need to know if we are having health problems in the food chain. Coming from an AG youth background I know the hazards of poor sanitation practices in live stock production. To prevent things like epidemics and now with global markets pandemics farmers can not afford to cut corners. I also understand that the cost of our food supply is going up. As the demand increases and our population grows we must adapt with new technologies.
    What was see in the chicken video what disturbed me more than the animal cruelty is the sanitation of the farm. Kill pits for the most part were abandoned about 1890"s because farmers noticed that the pits made the healthy stock sick. So they began to use incineration units. This reduced the pathogen breading ground. Believe it or not killing the sick chicken has nothing to do with being kind. Live chickens in pits have what? They are hosts for germs to grow and spread.
    There allot of under educated Congressmen that will do anything to turn a buck. Even if it makes the entire country sick.
    Stay in the way. Keep filming and let me know. I can look at your films and see what adjustments need made in our food chain. For Our Health and Wealth. I am eating the same foods everyone else is.

    June 29, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
    • Gary Sutphin

      Although I enjoyed reading your entire post...the reason why this type of thing goes on as well as most other problems in this country was summed up in your very first paragraph. MONEY.

      June 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
  44. Organic1

    Only idiots would want these videos against the law, this is not the 20th century no matter how badly the GOP wants it to be...

    June 29, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
    • ug

      LOL! always the libs with the feel good "ideas" that nobody cares about...LOL!

      June 29, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
      • Patrish Dehler

        If a lot of people didn't care about it, then there would be no EFFORT for a GAG order because nothing was being affect. Obviously someone is scared – so you're wrong – people do care – maybe just not you.

        June 29, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
      • Hector

        I care about animals and the food I eat. I am happy to see other people who do the same.

        June 30, 2014 at 12:10 am |
  45. Eleanor

    Go vegan, and nobody gets hurt.

    June 29, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
    • Emily

      but the plant.

      June 29, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
    • Jake

      I agree with you Eleanor. At some point the meat is going to be so tainted, we'll have to go vegan to avoid being poisoned. And the farmers will have no one to blame but themselves.

      June 29, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
      • ug

        Dream on...people have been eating meat since the dawn of time...it won't change because you libs say so...oh by the way...my steaks are just coming off the grill...gotta go now...LOL!

        June 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • Thinking things through

          Obviously, ug, you don't know very many "libs". Or whatever small shelf-like term you think makes you cool. I'm reading your post, and saying,.... wha? Personally, I know several big game hunters who term themselves politically liberal, which really gets me tired of the small-time mindset that can't deal with issues an issue at a time.

          June 29, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
    • Thinking things through

      Eleanor, I remember tainted spinach. From an organic farm. At any rate, I eat positive foods, and not factory-farmed (including produce from that farm). It doesn't mean I'll be 100% safe, but I've got a leg up over most of the food sources out there. And, no, I am not ever going to go vegan, no matter how much I truly love my veggies! (The traditional Okinawans are NOT vegan!)

      June 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
    • Sandra in FL

      Eleanor your 'go Vegan and nobody gets hurt' slogan, sounds good on the surface BUT unfortunately with everything we eat today and I mean everything, there is some element of 'hurt'. Unless you are eating Organic, fruits, veggies, nuts and non GMO grains etc., you are really not eating healthy as a Vegan. Most veggies and fruits, nuts included are heavily sprayed with a concoction of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers that are impossible to just wash off. They are a great danger to our health and certainly pesticide use is being linked to Autism in the unborn child. We are being killed slowly by these large companies whose only goal is to make money and lots of it. Real 'natural' food is a thing of the past.

      June 29, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
  46. Badly-Bent

    There's telling the truth and there is proving the truth but, only one is protected by the first amendment.

    June 29, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
  47. Maureen McGloin

    This is an issue for President Obama. The Feds should not allow states to make these anti-whistle-blowing, Ag-gag laws.

    June 29, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
    • Porcupine

      I think past experiences have shown the president does not side with whistle blowers...

      June 29, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
    • ug

      Typical liberal trying to get big gov. involved with all of our lives...I bet you think the country is better off since Ovomit has taken office huh...keep gov. out of our business and keep liberals in the mental hospital where they belong...

      June 29, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
  48. Diane

    So the freedoms that the right wing cry about and wave the flag about do not include freedom of information? Freedom to know what we are eating and how it was produced?

    June 29, 2014 at 11:36 am |
    • Thinking things through

      At least some of the right wing. The portions of the right wing I'd never vote for.

      June 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
    • ug

      When it comes to trespassing on peoples property...no they shouldn't have any rights at all...always someone trying to tell us how to live...what to eat...what to drink...mind your own business and go kill yourself.

      June 29, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
      • Penguin

        The people who expose these conditions are not trespassers. They were hired as employees and took pictures without the owners knowledge. As employees, they were not trespassing.

        June 29, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
  49. Bonnie

    Big Ag is responsible for sick people and a sick environment. Big pharma and both political parties support them. We need to stop buying their poison. Money talks and our efforts are working. Keep going!!! Do your part with your wallet.

    June 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
  50. Tamara

    I just quit eating meat and drinking dairy products, not going to be part of this evil behavior. Everyone should consider doing so. Besides what should be illegal is animal abuse not the videoing of the abuse. Further more, obviously they have something to hide. If there was no abuse there would be no concern of videos made. Evil people, evil law makers and our society has gone to hell in hand basket. I am absolutely disgusted to be part of this human race. This law should be fought by SPCA'S, Peta and all of us as decent humans. Besides what happened to freedom of speech?

    June 28, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
    • Bonnie

      Well said Tamara! Thank you.

      June 28, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
    • Eco


      June 29, 2014 at 2:52 am |
    • LOL

      Good stop eating meat and start being disgusted about what humans are capable of. It will never change anything because you don't have the guts to actually DO SOMETHING!

      June 29, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
      • Gloria in NW

        Uh, she's already doing something buy not buying meat and dairy products to the industry won't get her money least. You have not idea what other actions she may take, so your post makes no sense.

        June 29, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
      • Loulou Von Spiel

        Yes, she is taking action and so are the many activists who have put their lives at risks to film what you are not supposed to see so that you can know what goes into your plate, vegans/vegetarians who have changed their diets (thus hitting where it hurts- in the pockets!- of the food companies they despise) and all the other people who believe that hurting animals for fun is not acceptable and keep petitioning, demonstrating and changing the lives of individual animals.

        Actually, things ARE CHANGING and that is why those AG GAG laws are being considered/introduced. Because those undercover investigations can CHANGE the way people consume and the trust they put in their government to protect them from wrongdoers.

        You don't know what she actually does apart from not eating meat, so your comment is rather lame.

        Besides, if you accept crap, you will be given crap. Looks like that's the way you like it (based on your comment).

        NB: In case you were trolling, good! It gives way to a point that needs addressing. Some times it is hard to tell if posts are from trolls or just idiots.

        July 1, 2014 at 8:21 am |
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