Earlier this week, we showed you five recent undercover investigations of factory farms and slaughterhouses -- all of which wouldn't have been possible under new controversial "ag-gag" laws. These "anti-whistleblower" laws, one of which was recently passed in Idaho, make it illegal for journalists, activists and employees to film, photograph or document inside factory farms, essentially outlawing animal abuse exposés. This week, a broad coalition of activists and organizations challenged Idaho's ag-gag law in Federal court.
Here are five more investigations that wouldn't be possible if "ag-gag" laws were more common:
Bell and Evans
A 2013 investigation at a Pennsylvania chick hatchery that billed itself as "humane" chick hatchery revealed disturbing animal welfare practices -- sick and injured birds, chicks dumped into a grinder while conscious and chicks jostled around in machinery. The footage was allegedly taken at Bell and Evans, a company that processes 20 million baby birds each year. The animal rights group Compassion Over Killing exposed the facility, which provides meat to several retailers, including Whole Foods. Though the activity on the film is not actually illegal, many were shocked at the conditions in which supposedly "humane" meat is actually raised.
Central Valley Meat Co.
A major supplier to the USDA's National School Lunch Program was shut down by the USDA in 2012 after footage surfaced of "egregious inhumane handling and treatment of livestock." The investigation at Central Valley Meat Co. in California, filmed by the group Compassion Over Killing, revealed sick and injured cows, workers beating and shocking cows and improper stunning of animals, so that they were not completely unconscious before they were killed. The plant was reopened and then shut down yet again in 2014 -- this time for unsanitary conditions discovered by USDA inspectors.
Catelli Bros. Slaughterhouse
A New Jersey slaughterhouse was shuttered earlier this year after an undercover video filmed by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) revealed workers mistreating calves. The U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended operations at Catelli Bros., one of the nation's biggest veal and lamb companies, after viewing the undercover footage, which shows sick calves being forced to stand and walk or dragged by chains.
Iron Maiden Hog Farm
An investigation conducted by HSUS uncovered horrific conditions at the Iron Maiden Hog Farm in Owensboro, Kentucky. The video showed cramped conditions and many sick animals. One of the most egregious incidents revealed was a bout of sickness that -- in just two days -- killed 900 piglets, parts of which were then ground up and fed to other animals in an effort to immunize them against the illness, a practice prohibited by law.
An investigation in 2011 and 2012 conducted by PETA at a New York dairy factory farm that produces 180,000 pounds of milk each day. Workers at the farm, which supplies milk to both Cabot and McCadam cheeses, were filmed beating cows with sticks, and sick and injured cows were seen neglected at the facility.
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