TV icon and lifelong Republican Bob Barker, inspired by his successful efforts to stop Wyoming’s “ag-gag” bill, which would have hindered undercover investigations on factory farms by banning filming and forcing witnesses of abuse to report it within 48 hours of the first incident, is turning his attention to five states where other GOP-sponsored “ag-gag” bills are pending: Arkansas, Indiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania.
In letters sent last week to legislators on behalf of PETA, Barker explains that evidence of repeated, routine abuse is crucial in order for law-enforcement officials to make a strong case against an animal abuser.
“I am a lifelong Republican who feels that authorities should have access to everything that they need to enforce the law,” writes Barker. “Americans today want better treatment of animals killed for food, not for their legislators to hide illegal cruelty on farms behind locked doors. … I hope to hear that you’ll stand up for protecting our right to document and expose cruelty to animals.”
The sponsors of Wyoming’s “ag-gag” bill acknowledged that “negative publicity” killed the bill. Similar bills have died or been tabled in Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and New York, thanks in part to opposition from prominent people, including Mary Matalin and Temple Grandin.