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The meat industry is generally viewed as an issue for vegetarians, vegans, and bleeding-heart activists for animal rights. But the issue at hand is not only the atrocities that have been committed under insufficient oversight, which include beating disabled animals, throwing piglets, and skinning a calf alive. This is a lose-lose situation impacting not just the animals, but consumers. Frightened animals secrete chemicals which decrease the value of meat. Inhumane conditions may also be unsanitary. And various chemicals and antibiotics may be injected into livestock which are not necessarily intended for human consumption.
A month ago, the FDA released a report showing that abuse persists across the agricultural sector, and that the system is set up in so as to discourage whistleblowers, reports the Kansas City Star.
This is despite the fact that between one and four years ago, a series of shocking and informative video exposés showing inhumane conditions in slaughterhouses were released to the public. They can still be found on You Tube - some livestock farms were shut down by the Food and Drug Administration as a result of violating protocol, animal abuse, and possible food contamination.
One potential cause of the persistence of abuse is that 2 months ago, agricultural state legislatures began proposing and enacting bills prohibiting videos of livestock farms and slaughterhouses, and requiring job applicants to those industries to disclose ties to environmental groups such as the Humane Society and Greenpeace.
The bills, known as “Ag-Gags,” require that videos taken must be immediately turned over to authorities, preventing long-term investigation, reports the NY Times.com.