The fight over the provision offered by U.S. Representative Steve King as an amendment to the Farm Bill was one of the highest profile debates on this massive agricultural package. Papers throughout the country urged lawmakers to reject King's proposal, and in the end, that view prevailed, to the delight of The HSUS and other animal protection, environmental, food safety, worker rights, and states' rights groups. The National Conference of State Legislators, the National Sheriffs' Association, and the County Executives of America all opposed the King amendment.
Ag-gag and right to farm measures
With the increasing resonance of our anti-farm-animal-confinement campaigns targeting gestation crates and battery cages, there's been a resulting backlash from agribusiness interests. For the second year in a row, they mounted major efforts in a dozen states to criminalize investigations at factory farms. We were able to defeat all but one of the measures, and united with law enforcement and civil liberties groups in fighting them. Some states also tried to pass "right to farm" measures, with the hot-button state being Missouri. There, Amendment 1 appeared on the ballot, and despite innocuous-sounding language, it passed by less than one percent of the vote – in fact, by a .2 percent margin that triggered a recount. Almost every newspaper in Missouri opposed the measure as bad policy, and the ballot question had the opposite effect its framers intended – it showed the weakness and vulnerability of the farm lobby in Missouri.