Like an ag-gag bill on steroids, this sweeping new censorship bill is music to the ears of the execs at Walmart, Tyson Foods and other corporations cited for abuse to workers, animals or both. Quietly passing the first two readings in the state House, Arkansas HB 1774 is now in committee and open to public comment before a recommendation and vote take place.
The bill would make it illegal to record any “oral communication” between people with a working relationship unless all parties give consent. So whether your boss calls you “sweet ass” or tells you to get to work in a hazard zone with no helmet, you have no right to tape the evidence.
That’s a pretty sweet deal for Arkansas’ two largest non-government employers, Tyson and Walmart, both of which have been exposed for severe animal cruelty in undercover investigations involving whistleblower employees. And in essence, HB1774 is an especially egregious ag-gag bill – but instead of limiting the censorship to factory farms and other agricultural facilities, it spans to all employees in all industries, serving the interest of Big Business while further squashing the voice of the average American.
At Last Chance for Animals (where I’m director of campaigns), we have very little tolerance for these shenanigans. We were able to stop a notorious Arkansas B dealer, C.C. Baird, from selling stolen dogs to medical research by sending in an undercover investigator who got a job at Baird’s kennel of horrors. And if this bill had been in effect, we may never have been able to take him down.
So we’ve started a petition to stop this bill from becoming law – and now is the time to do it, because laws are a lot easier to stop at this stage than after they’ve already passed. So please sign the petition at EndAgGagLaws.com, and let’s tell Walmart, Tyson and other abusive companies that we will not be silenced.