Proposed Bill Would Make It a Felony to Photograph Farms

Categories: Politicks
oldmacdonald.jpg
...and if you dare snap a photo of it, he'll make sure you wind up behind bars for 30 years, E-I-E-I-O!
State Sen. Jim Norman, a Republican from Tampa, is very concerned about a farm's right to privacy, while showing little regard for the First Amendment. He has filed a bill in the Florida Senate that would make it a first-degree felony to photograph or videotape farms without express written consent of the owner. Better hurry up and take a picture of some farm's bull's shit to express your feelings about the bill while you still can.

You might have heard of these laws forbidding people from trespassing. For some reason, the first section of the bill just wants to establish a special farm trespassing law.

But the second half of the bill would prohibit photographing a farm even from off the property. So let's say you're cruising along some highway in Central Florida on your way to Disney and spot some cows grazing on farmland. Don't take out your cell phone camera to snap a pic, because that would make you a felon!

Here's the specific text of the bill:
A person who photographs, video records, or otherwise produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture operations are being conducted without the written consent of the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits a felony of the first degree.
Salon.com legitimately wonders if this would make Google Earth or Google Maps images of Florida's vast agriculture land illegal.

Though Norman hasn't clarified the exact intentions of the bill, many observers think it was filed at the behest of agriculture special interests who want to prohibit animal rights activists from filming possible animal mistreatment.

Photography is protected in most cases under the First Amendment, and Norman's bill, as it is written now, flies in that basic right's face.

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8 comments
Dustinleonard135
Dustinleonard135

People who want to make it illegal to show what is really happening in animal farms obviously have a lot to hide.  They know that the public would be outraged if they knew what was really going on.  We need to do everything we can to keep freedom of speech legal and people shouldn't be allowed to secretly abuse animals.

 

rick
rick

Is the Republican at the heart of this afraid we might catch him on tape with his favorite sheep?

Reality Check
Reality Check

Well...some people believed the lies the GOP spread last year enough to make a Senate Majority. I am sure people are starting to see the GOP's true colors. The GOP doesn't care about Americans or thier rights, they care about the Big Money that finances thier political campaigns. Regardsless of who the POTUS is, GOP leadership NEVER has the average American's best interest at heart.

Oily Olly
Oily Olly

I didn't know it wasn't illegal for chrissakes. No brainer for me. Should also make it illegal to shoot photos of public buildings, military bases, private buildings and family members in front of some place on vacation.

Jamesbond11218
Jamesbond11218

More moronic legislation to waste tax payer dollars and valuable senate time. Ever wonder why we have such discontent over our elected officials?

FIC
FIC

Thanks Kyle for writing on this important issue! If you have time, please check out my piece on the proposed legislation from a whistleblower perspective, on the Government Accountability Project (national whistleblower advocacy group)'s Food Integrity Campaign blog: http://foodwhistleblower.org/b...

a
a

Cases of abuse are widespread and well-documented and the abuse is not an isolated incident. Any time someone turns on the video camera, they can find abuse because it is standard industry practice--and for a very good reason. Abusing animals adds a large percentage to the profits of factory farmers. The more animals are crammed into smaller spaces, moved quicker through assembly lines, and treated as machines instead of the creatures they are, the more money they make. That's why the tail-docking, castration, debeaking and overcrowding are standard practices. It's cheaper that way. Last year several spokespersons for the egg industry admitted that grinding live chicks up in a wood-chipper was standard practice. That anyone can advocate this kind of cruelty with a straight face tells us about the depths of their inhumanity. No wonder they want to cover it up.

ivxx
ivxx

I guess we can thank that crazy dude who took pics of all those dead goats and makeshift slaughterhouses for spurring these ranchers into this...

even THEY have a lobby...

smfh...

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