Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

March 22, 2013

Letter to the Editor March 23, 2013

To the Editor:

There is a bill making its way through the Indiana General Assembly that is harmful to the civil liberties of Hoosiers, our safety, and to animals.

Senate Bill 373 would punish whistleblowers who expose corruption, abuse, and unsanitary practices in the agriculture industry. SB373 would impose criminal penalties on anyone who shot and distributed videos or photos without permission "with intent to harass, defame, annoy, or harm."

The bill is now in a House committee for deliberation. There are already laws on the books that punish trespassers making this legislation unnecessary. Why give this industry an extra law that only aids in covering up unscrupulous activities?

Surely it does not reflect the so called Hoosier values that our elected officials constantly remind us of during campaign season.

Most of us shelter ourselves from the violence that is inflicted on animals in factory farms. Whistleblowing employees have played a vital role in exposing animal abuse, unsafe working conditions, and environmental problems on industrial farms. Let's prevent the abuse instead of preventing the public from finding out about it.

Sara Laycock

Indianapolis

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