Florida Senate passes bill to make taking photos of farms a crime listen05/06/11 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:
Today The Florida Senate approved a bill that would make outlaws out of people who photograph farms. Democratic minority leader Nan Rich opposed the bill, saying it’s meant to crack down on whistleblowers.
"It's really about people who want to conceal animal abuse. Whistleblowers on farms alert the public to animal cruelty, to environmental abuse, and to dangers to our food supply. This bill discourages such reports and jeopardizes consumers. I think that whistleblowers actually should be applauded and not jailed. You heard about one undercover investigation mentioned by Senator Sacks which was one of the largest meat recalls in U.S. history, potentially tainted meat, that was headed for school children. Not one example of an improper past investigation has been given to justify this legislation. I think that what is needed is more transparency, not less. I would urge the body here to consider that and to consider voting against this bill."
But the bill’s sponsor, Republican Jim Norman said SB 1246 only protects the proprietary information about farms.
The bill passed the senate on a mostly party-line vote of 25 to 10.