ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Making undercover videos of animal mistreatment would be illegal in Minnesota under bills pending in the state Legislature.

The bills would make it illegal to make audio or video recordings at any animal facility without permission. Even possessing such videos would become illegal.

Animal rights advocates say the proposal would have a chilling effect on whistle-blowers trying to call attention to animal cruelty.

Republican Sen. Doug Magnus of Slayton told the Star Tribune the bill he’s sponsoring is “aimed at people who are harassing and sabotaging these operations.”

The Humane Society is concerned the bill would act as a shield for the entire agricultural industry.

Similar bills are being considered in Florida, Idaho and Iowa. No committee hearings are scheduled on the bills in Minnesota.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (64)
  1. Busy at the legislature? says:

    Our legislators have nothing better to do?

  2. stace34 says:

    I think this is a horrible peice of lestislation. If the companies are doing nothing wrong they should have no problem with filming. This is meant to protect who really? People that abuse animals.

    1. Rusty Shackelford says:

      What we REALLY need stace34, is undercover cameras in coffee shops and bycicle hang out spots, as well as your so-called “animal rights” actvists’ criminal activities.

      1. Tell the truth Rusty, says:

        A camera in the coffee shop would catch them spitting in your coffee as I can’t imagine you being a nice person out in public.

  3. HokiLeaks says:

    I wonder who donated money to Sen. Doug Magnus of Slayton??? Protecting those who abuse animals is almost as bad as protecting those who abuse children. Time to recall Doug Magnus.

    1. Rusty Shackelford says:

      No HokiLeaks,
      you missed the course on evolution. Humans are not almost like animals, no they are worlds apart. Most of us anyway. PETA kills animals, humans harvest food.

      1. JJ says:

        I’d have to agree Rusty, “humans are not almost like animals.” Animals have more manners than many humans I’ve met. Oh and humans do harvest food. However, that doesn’t mean people do not abuse this act. People that starve and abuse animals should be punished.

        1. Rusty Shackelford says:

          People that abuse humans should be punished much further right?
          “Animals have more manners than many humans I’ve met” your cats probably are nice, but Lions do not have mercy.

          1. Timetells says:

            Lions don’t THINK about what they do, you idiot. They have instinct, not reason which leads me to believe that most of the posters on this forum are far below any animal they eat. YOU numb skull humans are SUPPOSED to think! And you accuse animals of being beneath you!? What a laugh. If any of you are as smart of a sheep, you should thank god. Oh and humans don’t harvest food. They are reaping EXACTLY what they have sewn! GMO frankenfoods, poisoned food wherever you look. And yet you say there’s no reciprocity. What a bunch of sub-human idiots.

        2. Rusty Shackelford says:

          Us Humans should all be punished right JJ? I know how you Liberals think.

          1. Timetells says:

            Do you have a “label” Rusty. How about intolerant and closed minded? I think that fits.

            1. Ron says:

              So, “Sub-Human idiots is not labeling but Liberal is? Time to take a chill pill Timetells you are getting a bit worked up. Maybe head down to the corner coffee shop and get a latte’. Maybe someone there values your opinion.

      2. Timetells says:

        Not so. As you treat others so you’ll be treated. Geniuses like Einstein were vegetarians because they knew the truth: you get what you give out. If we are so-called “different” as you say, then we DO have a choice to NOT kill, murder, and eat the dead bodies (cadavers) of other beings. Tolstoy even said (paraphrase) Until there are no more slaughter houses, there WILL BE battlefields. If humans don’t want to be the prey of elites (no matter who or what they are) then, we have to rise above eating the flesh of dead beings. It is the law of reciprocity. That law IS written in stone like it or not.

        1. Rusty Shackelford says:

          What a lunatic we got here. So let me get this right Timetells, you lunatics (I know this already, just clarifying) are at war with people who eat meat, plain words right there. All you have to do is make them angry, and a dumb Liberal will admit. Well, there you go folks, your welcome.

          1. Ow says:

            There is a way to keep the name calling away, it is called hit report comment button. If you are tired of the name calling, hit the report button

          2. Ron says:

            Thanks for bringing this closet dweller out in the open. What a wacked world Timetells lives in!

  4. Kels says:

    Personally I think if you are on someone’s private property you should let them know if you are recording your visit. If something is wrong on that farm take it ot the authorities.

  5. Jon says:

    Lol, dumb law. Although I think these organizations that whine about animal cruelty go a little far. It’s our food after all.

    1. Timetells says:

      And you are cannon fodder after all. Even exchange.

  6. BLT says:

    Hmmm does it smell like bacon? another Repub gettin’ payed baby!!

  7. Chuck says:

    Excuse me, no one is condoning poor treatment of animals, just the filming and editing to make it look bad like the animal rightests do. Any animal production peerson knows that treating animals in a inhumane manner is counterproductive to profit. These rightests are really just trying to kill the use of any and all animals for food. While I don’t have a problem with someone who chooses to be a vegitarian, I do have a problem with someone telling me I have to be!!!!!!

    1. Timetells says:

      Yeah Chuck and are YOU there when they film? Who are you to say either way. I know for a fact that these atrocities do happen whether meat heads like to admit it or not. And since we’re speaking of profit, I think it’s great for the economy when the elites get us into wars and use us to make money. Same thing. You’ll be used until you don’t abuse. So why don’t you go out and have a nice poison laded bloody red steak from your local CAFO. And you don’t have to “be” anything. But learn how to spell will you? All that meat must be clogging up your brain cells. Vegetarian is the right spelling. Dim wad.

      1. Charlie says:

        Hey Timetells, what color is the sky in your world?

        This is the real deal; we can and should raise animals for food!

        There is nothing wrong with that, so stop criticizing all of us that do…

        We don’t care waht you eat, but what makes you think you can judge us?

        Just stop it.

  8. tom hasbrouck says:

    Once again Republicans tirelessly working for corporations at the expense of the average citizen.

    1. Chris says:

      Sure Tom, and you will be the first to cry when our MN producers pull out of state… This sneaky filming is not going after the few people that do cruel things to production animals, the PETA folks just want to make a splash by going after the companies… and the companies DO NOT support poor treatment of animals! They should charge all of these under the table low-lifes with trespassing… and allow the rest of us to enjoy our quality food at a good value…

    2. nusty says:

      Dale Gribble, you’re upsetting people.

      1. Rusty Shackelford says:

        I would be upset too if people were fighting for the right to spy on my land.

        1. nusty says:

          Are there no bugs in Arlen this time of year?

    3. LLP says:

      Why because we have the best politicians that money can by. If you think for one minute that the Dumocrats, Tea bagger and republiKKKs care about you and all of the overweight, 9th grade, mean, stingy and ingorant people in the country then you will be waiting for a long time.

      1. Chuck says:

        LLP, What the heck was that post?! Who are you referring to? Take a pill…

    4. Ponngsatr says:

      Yeah because the demorats have done so much good the past 10 years?

      1. Paul Rivers says:

        So then once it’s pointed out that Republicans have been in charge for 8 of those 10 years you’ll turn around and admit that that Republicans haven’t done much good in the last 8 years right? lol

  9. dani says:

    If the issue is trespassing, there is already a law for that. Filming (secretly or not) while being legally on a production facility is, in my opinion, a right granted once you are allowed on the property. This is a product that american’s put into their bodies, they have a right to be aware of what is going on

    1. Rusty Shackelford says:

      I agree!

    2. Charlie says:

      Dani, There are also lots of laws on the books regarding the proper handling and preparation of food… and our local companies do an exceptional job at meeting those requirements. But these slime balls are lying to get access to these properties, which is just wrong.

      1. dani says:

        I come from a family of Farmstead (former iowa meat-packing facility) employees, i have no issue with the facilities. I have also been inside Dakota Premium in South Saint Paul dozens of times and seen what goes on there. Most of what is seen could be called horrific by an animal rights activist, but is essentially the by-product of killing something in order for it to feed something (or someone) else. I understand all that, but there are instances where the power to treat our food humanely is abused and videographic proof obtained while being on a property legally is there to provide an extra measure of protection and awareness. Saying that i am not allowed to film an inhumane act, even as an employee, essentially prohibits even showing it to my superiors (since possessing the video would be illegal) takes away my right to speak out. That is unfair and since the issue appears to be trespassers, i don’t see a need for additional legislation.

  10. Moe says:

    I’d like to know when someone is going to prosecute Peta for giving money to ALF and the other terrorist orgs they support.

  11. Rusty Shackelford says:

    The truth is out. I, Rusty, do not have an education!

    1. Rusty Shackelford says:


  12. Scotch says:

    That’s why so many people are free to tape whatever they’d like in China, right Rusty? Nothing like totalitarian rule to tell you where and when you can videotape. I bet Rusty doesn’t want anyone taping police either. Nothing to see here- move along.

    Isn’t extremism fun, Rusty?

    How about a nice, warm cup of sanity and less baseless accusations. If there’s no animals being abused, there’s nothing to worry about. Surely you’d agree there are problems at puppy mills and some less-than-perfect facilities. Videotape helps bring attention where its needed. Let’s keep our freedom and not support more government control.

    1. Rusty Shackelford says:

      What’s going on in Coffee Shops? Undergrounnd terrorism, why can’t we film there? What goes on during your “bycicle” meetings. Call it what you want Scotch, but the difference here is this is thier property, and the ones filming have an agenda against meat eating in general. But you know that already you Socialst lying scumbag.

      1. Tell the truth Rusty, says:

        When I have been in coffee shops all I see are people on laptops, or families with kids. Are you having a mind altering substance there Rusty. Are you unable to say anything without resorting to name calling?

    2. Rev. J says:

      Tape coffee shops and bycicle meetings. They are terrorists and pediphiles.

    3. Chris says:

      Scotch, Settle down already… You are worried about a problem that doesn’t even exist… Do you really think that these farmers are evil and get their jollies by not taking good care of their animals? If the PETA people would only apply their time and resources to something that matters, we would really get some benefit… how about tatking care of our own folks? But, most are more concerned about animals than human beings anyway, which is totally upside down! And these extemists think they can judge the rest of us??? So give us a break Scotch!

  13. sunny says:

    If you saw a 10 second clip of a hog being shot in the head with a .22 rifle and squirming around for a few seconds would you consider that humane?

    People who don’t work in the industry have a different view of humane vs those who don’t. Taking clips and editing them to look inhumane is very easy when you are dealing with farming.

  14. Paul Rivers says:

    Ah, I see by the snarky “oh peta is the worstest thing evar” comments people hired by the meat industry are commenting.

    Video isn’t even terribly effective with this stuff – they still sell a ton of meat don’t they? Banning video is just giving the meat industry a way permission to be horribly cruel with absolutely no consequences. I even think that some of the PETA people are kind of crazy – but since taking video isn’t actually harming anyone, the only reason you can imagine for this kind of ban is so the meat industry doesn’t have to worry about treating the animals incredibly horribly. One has to assume they’re making big campaign contributions to get this kind of stuff passed.

    And isn’t it funny how the “the government should stay out of our lives” party is the one introducing laws that add more government control into what you can and cannot do?

  15. Victim Du Jour says:

    Why stop at just farming, many employers are harassing workers with security systems. It’s depressing going to work knowing they are watching every thing you do.

    It’s one thing to use it to catch criminal behavior or accidents. But now you have to think twice even stopping to say hi to someone.

  16. Dammage says:

    I am in favor of the sentiment behind this legislation. As someone who grew up on a farm and has spent a good portion of my life observing and working within a viariety of agricultural operations, I have seen many things that make my stomach turn. In fact, every time I see some “rogue report” from someone who has no idea about what they are actually witnessing, I have to take another TUMS.

    Most of the images that the population-at-large find the most disturbing are common practices that are done, in a humane and sanitary way, for the welfare of the entire livestock herd. By simply taking an introduction to animal husbandry class at one of our higher education intstitutions, someone can learn about these practices with an understanding that goes beyond the shock-factor. Uneducated reports ruin the livelihoods of those who keep us fed and simply riase the cost of producing food across the world. That may not be devastating to your pocketbook, but I’m willing to bet that many people around the world will end up starving as a result.

  17. Ponngsatr says:

    Stop horsing around ang get the Vikings stadium done!!State casinos and racinos should git R done!!

  18. Rusty Shackelford says:

    I even think that some of the PETA people are kind of crazy – Paul Rivers
    Wow, that was stretching it Paul. I hunt and shop at the store like the rest. But these loonies are trying to get this footage in order to create more government organizations around meat farmers. If you don’t eat meat, keep your opinion to yourself.

    1. Paul Rivers says:

      It’s always ironic that the party of “less government interference” is always “if you don’t agree with me then keep your opinions to yourself”, isn’t it. I don’t really care what reason the “loonies” are trying to get footage for, taking video doesn’t destroy anyone’s property and there’s no reason for the government to interfere in that kind of stuff. If they want to take video, take video.

  19. John Doer says:

    I used to eat meat now I don’t because of PETA. Then I saw something about how if you talk to your plants they grow better. So I figured the must have feeling too. So I quit being a vegetarian. Now I just eat my poop and boogers!! Hopefully that is still OK!!!

    1. Slim says:

      We love that! Thanks for the humor and make it a great day!

  20. Josh says:

    There is absolutely no reason for this and it sets a bad precedent. Enforce existing trespassing laws, do not create new laws which take away our rights.

  21. Liz says:

    I agree with this bill and don’t think people should be able to secrectly record and edit a film showing animal abuse. I’m from a farming family and have the same sentiment with others on this post that most things in farming can appear inhumane… with the right editing. For the extreme animal rights activist, they are looking for the shock factor, and it’s really easy to edit a video to look shocking and get people upset. As Dammage said, take an animal husbandry class or even Google it and educate yourself so you know if you’re being presented with correct information or extremeism.

    P.S. This issue isn’t about the government recording us… it’s about someone going undercover and presenting faulty, damaging and incorrect information. Information that can be exremely harmful, even though it’s fake/a misrepresentation. That’s the issue, and personally, I think it’s an issue everyone should be concerned about.

  22. MARK says:

    Republicans want no industry regulation, whether it’s farms, banking, or energy. If they had their way the bankers would run the country, we’d have unregulated nuclear reactors in every county, and people could do anything they wished to their farm animals. Just a few of the many examples showing Republican ideas are completely outdated.

  23. Willow says:

    This is ridiculous and violates freedom of speech.

  24. Regular Consumer says:

    Mistreating animals would be similar to a car manufacturer building a car that would not be allowed on the market because it did not meet quality standards. When an animal is abused, their meat becomes bruised. If they are malnourished, then the quality of the meat will be diminished dramatically. Meat inspectors reject animals with poor meat quality or reduce their USDA quality grade. This causes the farmer to get much less money per pound of meat. There is no clear thinking person that would purposefully reduce their chances of earning the high dollar for the product that they produce.

    Whether or not farms are videotaped is a tough call within the context of the law. That being said, it is sad to see sensationalized videos from only those statistical outlying, cruel, mindless people that really are doing harm being used as a way to make the public believe that is how all animals are treated on farms. Farmers don’t want those few bad apples working in their industry either.

    Farmers care for their animals in a way that is indescribably humbling. Watch a farmer in the springtime as they wake up each hour to check their pregnant ewes or cows to be sure their birthing is successful. I’ve even seen some farmers that are getting camera put into maternity pens and then connecting the video to the internet so they can watch it on their phones in case anything goes wrong. This isn’t for one animal, this is for entire herds.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but an opinion based on facts is much more powerful than an opinion based on sensationalism.

    1. MARK says:

      Rational people don’t see these videos and assume that all farmers mistreat their animals, and if PETA tries to convince people that all farmers behave this way, that’s wrong. The purpose of these videos is to expose and root out the bad apples, and I support that 100%.

  25. Basic Logic says:

    I’m no fan of PETA as I am a hunter and fisherman, but a law to prevent filming of inhumane treatment of animals is asinine. If there wasn’t mistreatment of animals, especially by the huge corporate farms, there wouldn’t be a need for “undercover” photography,

    If you support this law, do yourself a favor and read “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair. The big slaughterhouses fought regulation even after his expose’ of the meatpacking industry.

    Sorry Big Agriculture, I just don’t trust you to do the right thing – you are more concerned with profits than ethics.

  26. Sid says:

    when I was younger and dumber I was part of a group that “planted” dead animals at a fur farm in order to close the farm down. We were told and bellieved the end justified the means.

    1. MARK says:

      Your criminal behavior has absolutely no bearing on this discussion.

  27. lisa says:

    why create a bill for this??????????
    these psycho need to be caught and punished, illegal to protect animal abusers???? oh and regular consumer…..wake up and stop dreaming—I hope you are not that ignorant about everything

  28. Fluffy says:

    Who’s behind this? Florida, and Iowa have had similar legislation introduced.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Watch & Listen LIVE