The North Carolina Chamber of Commerce claims animal rights activists are misrepresenting a bill regarding the filming of animal cruelty at factory farms.
In a news release issued Tuesday, the Chamber of Commerce said Senate Bill 648 — the NC Commerce Protection Act of 2013 — would actually strengthen protections for animals rather than squash whistle-blowers.
“It is extremely disappointing that a national group would stoop to such misrepresentation of a bill and lead the public to believe the business community is in favor of animal abuse of any kind. Nothing is further from the truth,” said North Carolina Chamber vice president Gary Salamido.
The legislation would make it a crime to apply to a factory farm job with the intention to document animal cruelty. The bill would also require anyone who recorded animal abuse or other illegal activity to turn all evidence over to local law enforcement within 24 hours or face a misdemeanor charge.
Earlier this month, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam vetoed a nearly identical bill. The Republican governor said the bill was likely unconstitutional and would make animal cruelty cases more difficult to prosecute.
The Humane Society of the United States announced Monday a television ad targeting the North Carolina Chamber for their support of the bill.
“Rather than trying to prevent animal cruelty and food safety problems, this bill shows that the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s intent is to keep Americans in the dark. Undercover investigations expose abuses that would otherwise remain hidden behind closed barn doors,” Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for the HSUS, said in a statement.
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