This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Last week, the Utah Legislature passed the Agricultural Operation Interference bill that prohibits taking photographs or video on an animal factory farm ("Bill passes to ban farm photos under 'false pretenses,'" Tribune, March 7).
But why is it "interfering" to simply take a photograph? If I take a picture of the day-to-day activities of a gardener, teacher or real estate agent, no one would say I'm "interfering" with their business.
Factory farms, on the other hand, are similar to criminal enterprises in that they fear the light of day and want their misconduct to remain hidden from view.
They know that if the public were to catch a rare glimpse inside their windowless sheds they would see thousands of miserable animals confined to cages barely larger than their own bodies. They might even witness inexcusable acts of abuse that seem to be dishearteningly commonplace on modern factory farms.
They know the public, which cares about the treatment of farm animals, would disapprove of this cruelty. Shame on the Legislature for bowing to special interests and creating a hidden world where criminal activity and animal abuse can safely flourish.
Salt Lake City