Only North Carolina Governor Can Now Stop Ag-Gag Measure

By on May 19, 2015 with 83 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

North Carolina has been the stage for the largest number of HSUS deployments with law enforcement to rescue dogs from squalid, overcrowded puppy mills. In the last four years, we’ve conducted 20 puppy mill raids, partnering with dedicated local animal welfare organizations, and reminding citizens and lawmakers that there’s a serious problem in the Tarheel State. The documentation we’ve amassed makes an incontrovertible case that the state must reform its ways to prevent these abuses from continuing.

Yet even with all of this evidence – and all of this expense to The HSUS and to local law enforcement agencies – lawmakers have failed to enact common-sense legislation to crack down on this widespread cruelty and neglect. So many other states have, but not North Carolina.

Instead, last night the Senate gave final approval to a bill – a cleverly disguised ag-gag measure – that will make it much harder to document animal abuse and other problems at puppy mills and factory farms.

That bill, H.B. 405, is headed to Governor Pat McCrory’s desk, and he’s the only backstop the animals now have, given that the House approved an identical bill last month. Gov. McCrory, who has himself spoken out against puppy mills and called on the legislature to deal with this scourge, has 10 days to take action. He should veto this overreaching, dangerous, detrimental bill, as Arizona Governor Doug Ducey did with a modified ag-gag bill in his state recently and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam did two years ago.

Those pushing H.B. 405 include the North Carolina Farm Bureau, the Poultry Federation, and the Chamber of Commerce – all with the agenda of stopping whistleblowers from uncovering abuse. Last year, these three groups shelled out a combined sum of $300,000 in donations for candidates. The bill itself is so broad that it would allow any employer to sue any employee who blows the whistle – whether at a daycare center, a home for the elderly, or a factory farm. During the Senate discussion of the bill last night, Senator Josh Stein of Raleigh expressed it as it is: “The public will be worse off as a result of this bill.” He couldn’t be more right.

In addition to being a major puppy mill state, North Carolina is the number two turkey-producing state and the number two pig-producing state. This bill is an attempt by Big Ag to flex its muscle and close the curtain to veil cruel factory farming practices in the state.

Last year a supplier for a major North Carolina poultry company was exposed for burying chickens alive in mass graves. Another recent investigation showed employees at a North Carolina Butterball facility kicking and stomping on birds, dragging them by their wings and necks, slamming them into transport crates, and leaving them to suffer from serious untreated injuries.

Last night’s vote comes just days after an investigation by Compassion Over Killing uncovered despicable cruelty at a North Carolina chicken slaughter plant. That investigation, among other abuses, documented workers punching, pushing, and shoving birds hanging upside down in shackles, and throwing sick and injured birds into piles of dead birds, like garbage. It’s not hard to see why the poultry industry supports H.B. 405: they don’t want consumers to learn about such cruel abuses.

By choosing to veto this ag-gag bill, Gov. McCrory will be in good company with other forward-thinking Republican governors. More importantly, he’ll be standing up for anti-cruelty, transparency, and good-government principles. If you live in North Carolina, or have friends and family who do, please call him and politely ask him to veto H.B. 405. Or contact our Farm Animal Protection team to ask how you can help.

Companion Animals, Farm Animals, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Peter Hood says:

    The American consumer has the authority and the power to put a stop to this madness, which disgraces the good name of the state of North Carolina. We should all endeavor to find information about what we buy that originates from the state. And then commit to buying elsewhere.

  2. tony ramos says:

    Please veto this bill. It’s inhumane.

  3. Dawn Skoczylas says:

    Please shut down HB 405! People who abuse and torture animals are sick! They are violent people who are built with the same make up as any of the same serial killers, rapists and abusers that fill our prisons. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to do such horrible things to another living being. It needs to be stopped and the only way to move in the right direction is exposure and punishment! These sick people want the right to continue to beat, harm and torture animals behind closed doors without repercussions and this bill protects these disgusting people and their appalling acts. Why would any one support this??! Please veto the ag gag bill!!!

  4. jocelyne latreille says:

    pleas help put a stop to cruelty of all animals. Thank you

  5. Lisa Gordon says:

    Please consider all the suffering this law further imposes on animals. Have a heart. This does not benefit anyone but big business.

  6. timz says:

    This needs to stop now. Hurting these beautiful animals is not right

  7. IRENE says:

    I was moving to NC, Weaverville @ the end of the summer. I WILL NOT MOVE TO THIS STATE if this ag-gag bill passes! What a disgrace your whole state is! I choose LIFE for INNOCENT animals who CAN’T SPEAK for themselve. I am their voice and YOU should be too!!!!

  8. Marketa Salamankova says:

    stop torturing animals!

  9. Carlina Dupere says:

    Please put an end to this. The people deserve to know. Consumers deserve to know.

  10. Lisa Brennan says:

    Please stop , please stop this bill. Life is life with a soul!

  11. zaira della-verde says:

    This should not be allowed to go ahead. These poor animals suffer enough. Why should they suffer in silence? This has to stop.And NOW.

  12. Dana Bruss-Burns says:

    Puppy mills need to be shut down. They are very cruel and unnecessary, they serve no purpose except to help bring more animals in an already over crowded world.
    We need to stop the cruelty and now.
    thank you
    Dana Bruss-Burns

  13. cathy Ary says:

    You people need to be jailed, this is abuse big time and you all know it!!! But to keep your money coming in you continue to abuse and try and gag everyone from talking or videos, it not going to work out will come back and bite you in the butt very much so. Get ready!!! You are all monsters and should never be allowed around any kind of animal.

  14. Nicole Mandaro says:

    Please veto H.B. 405. I do not understand how this can even be a question in one’s mind. The flagrant and brutal abuse of animals should have an effect on all of us who can do something to put a stop to it. Do these animals not feel pain? Do they not suffer? Please help put an end to these atrocities.

  15. Mary Wiemers says:

    We are there voice so let’s speak very loud

  16. Hang Duong says:

    please make changes for these poor animals, we are all equal and deserve opportunities and chances to be alive and live happily…

  17. Oscar garcia says:

    pelase veto hb 405

  18. Nadia Abramsky says:

    Is there a petition that we can all sign?? I feel like that is always so much more effective than asking people to call the governor. I would love to help!

    • Vaishali Honawar says:

      Hi Nadia, I am the editor of A Humane Nation. Please contact our Farm Animal Protection team using the contact form provided at the end of the blog. They have plenty of suggestions on how you can help. Thanks so much!

  19. marie underwood says:

    Enuf us enuf

  20. Helen Smith says:

    stop the inhumane abuse the farm animals

  21. Lena winstead says:

    Please do not let H.B. 405 pass, it will let all this animal cruelty continue! Transparency should be sought, if you have nothing to hide, you hide nothing. Why should any animal be mistreated?

  22. marie underwood says:


  23. Sharyn Van Dyk says:

    why do you need to impose the anti gag bill if there is nothing to hide? You know the animals are in these places are suffering. It is not right to do this and anyone with morals and a heart knows the truth.

  24. Bianca Sandhu says:

    Stop the ag gag law

  25. Jane Campbell says:

    These people really need to realize they’re missing the most important asset a human being can have COMPASSION.Until they acknowledge this they cant call them selves Human at all

  26. Tali says:

    Don’t treat these loving, intelligent animals like monsters. PLEASE don’t…

  27. Mary Grassell says:

    Please veto this ag- gag bill. Puppy mills are inhumane period. They all need to close, there are so many unwanted snd over filled shelters with great family dogs that are being euthanized everyday! Please veto this bill!
    Thank you for your time and please support our voice and veto this ag-gag bill!

  28. Dawn york says:

    Please help these poor animals

  29. Susan Stansfield says:

    Please stop AG-Gag measures now!

  30. Amanda Harmon says:

    We, The United States are a better country than one where telling the truth is illegal.

  31. Petra Moolenschot says:

    Only SUB Humans can make a law like this they have NO respect for animal life!!!! Let us do the same to them.

  32. Patsy Page says:

    Please help stop the abuse, and cruelty of these animals.I will not eat meat.

  33. Marie Wallace says:

    I have a granddaughter living there and she has animals and is very protective of them

  34. Amanda Scott says:

    “I am a New Yorker and I will ABSOLUTELY NOT visit the state of the North Carolina if you do not veto HB 405. Not only will I never visit the state again, but I will let everyone I know of the absolutely disgusting law that your state wants to pass that prevents whistleblowers from uncovering cruelty on factory farms and puppy mills. This is absolutely unjust and repulsive that someone like yourself would support the abuse of innocent animals. Permitting acts of animal cruelty shows your true colors.”

  35. Raina Whitney says:

    Please, please do the right thing by these poor helpless animals.

  36. Taylor Manning says:

    “I am a New Yorker and I will ABSOLUTELY NOT visit the state of the North Carolina if you do not veto HB 405. Not only will I never visit the state again, but I will let everyone I know of the absolutely disgusting law that your state wants to pass that prevents whistleblowers from uncovering cruelty on factory farms and puppy mills. This is absolutely unjust and repulsive that someone like yourself would support the abuse of innocent animals. Permitting acts of animal cruelty shows your true colors.”

  37. Norma Huacuja says:

    Stop tormenting, torturing and the uncontrolled merciless animal slaughter.

  38. Susan Deerr says:

    Please consider how badly this will reflect on the state of North Carolina if this is passed. I believe the majority of NC residents want to be known as a forward thinking people, not as an antiquated, closed minded, callous group. I know when I lived there for 12 years I was impressed by how most people I encountered were very aware and actively supportive of issues pertaining to the welfare of animals and people, as well as the environment. Wouldn’t the Government want the same for the great state of North Carolina?

  39. Monica says:

    You people are ignorant if you have children don’t you abuse children seriously think about it animals are not meant to be abused it’s like abusing your child you abuse an animal I will go and abuse your children

  40. Lisa Doser says:

    I will not give my business to NC tourism if HB 405 becomes law in North Carolina. I will not buy goods or services from NC if this bill becomes law.

    Please do the right thing for the protection of animals and veto this bill!

  41. Shannon Beebe says:


  42. Lisa Browning says:

    We had a rescue few back where the dogs were literally stuck to cages by all the feces in bottom of cage. They cud notmove! Most mill animals NEVER have been out of the cages- born in, lived in & died in cages. And overcrouded cages at that! Please don’t pass that bill!

  43. stacey ferguson says:

    Stop ag-gag.

  44. Sherry O. Mace says:

    Animal abuse must not be covered up any longer. We are their voice.

  45. Sherry O. Mace says:

    Animal abuse must no longer be silenced. It must be brought to light in order to have it stop. Please give a damn.

  46. Kathy LeMay says:

    This email is to literally beg you to veto this bill.

  47. Dan Savarese says:

    Just call 919-814-2050 and leave this message “As a constituent, I urge the governor to stand up for North Carolina voters by vetoing HB 405. It would harm consumers, animals and responsible farmers.”

  48. Janet gilman says:

    I implore you to do the right thing for the animals.
    I will never give North Carolina a single cent ofmy money, will stop visiting and will be incredibly vocal to encourage others to do the same if you do not veto HBO 405. The rest of the country is watching you…do the right thing.

  49. A.S says:

    What the heck? Veto that, puppy mills suck!

  50. linda hayes says:

    Stop this dam abuse u sickass people….who ever is caught mistreating them should be fired I mmediantly!!!!

  51. Gloria brownlee says:

    Please don’t sign HBO 405 save puppys from puppy’s mills.We have to many backyard puppys being born to people who don’t take care of them they make money off of them we have way to many of these people

  52. linda hayes says:

    Stop this inhumane behavii r….ur not only hurting the animals…but ur contaminating them for consumers who do eat these animals!!!!!

    • Shirley Collar says:

      Money is the root of all evil..It makes people cruel and unthinking. I don’t know about most folks, but I don’t want to eat something that has been handled under dirty, disgusting, painful food preparation. As for puppy mills. Just go to any Humane Society and check out the unwanted dogs that will be killed because of over-breeding. Has anyone figured out how much it cost to run a shelter even before they kill the dogs. THINK people. Humane treatment will only come if you can prove they are losing money. They really don’t have a heart. You are hitting them on the wrong nose.

  53. madeliene eggleton says:

    Please help in every way for animals

  54. mary knapp says:

    All animals have the right to be free from suffering and exploitation. Do animals suffer? All animals have the ability to suffer in the same way and to the same degree that humans do. They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness, and motherly love. Whenever we consider doing something that would interfere with their needs, we are morally obligated to take them into account. Animals have an inherent worth—a value completely separate from their usefulness to humans. We believe that every creature with a will to live has a right to live free from pain and suffering. Animal rights is not just a philosophy—it is a social movement that challenges society’s traditional view that all nonhuman animals exist solely for human use.

  55. E.P. Ratledge says:

    Such a hard defeat. Imagine what an uphill battle Erica will have coming into NC new. On top of that, her past history of fighting coal-ash ponds is sure to Rub Gov. McCrory wrong given his close association with Duke Energy and the millions of $ he has made off them.

  56. Ashley Woolsey says:

    Inhumane treatment of animals should not be overlooked.

  57. Lois kyle says:

    I hope you make the right decision …to help the voices that can’t be heard….not their fault they are put through this cruelty… Nothing that breathes our air should be abused…and to not have no way of defending itself…you will get the best feed back if you do the right thing and let the right people to put a stop to this

  58. Julie Anderson says:

    Please you MUST veto this bill. The awful cruelty humans inflict on defenceless creatures is unacceptable, and those who do nothing are as guilty as the perpetrators. What have you got to lose? ….SLEEP if you do nothing!

  59. sigrid brooks says:

    stop breeding ,no more puppy mills , this killing have to stop, the shelter are full with are loving companion , and have no live , only dead, this puppy mille owner , there don.t care about live , only money, all net to be in jail , for animal cruelty , and companion abuse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!a pet is for live not a Toy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!when you don,t love animals , don’t have any, , I she you abusing any animal, I she you in jail !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  60. Patsy Crocker says:

    Please veto bill HBO 405 and laws in place that will protect animals and punish their abusers

  61. Holly Noseworthy says:

    You must veto this bill

  62. Irene Catania says:

    Do the right thing and veto this. If you have an ounce of humanity in you.

  63. Evelyn hunter says:

    I pray that the governor will veto this cruel bill. Since I am a vegetarian, I don’t like it that animals are killed for food. But if they have to be killed, at least make sure it is done as humanely as possible.

  64. Susan says:

    VETO THIS BILL~!!!! Puppy Mills are inhumane and run by cruel torturers~!!!!

  65. Susan says:

    Veto this Bill~!!

  66. Patti Shaw says:

    Are THESE the kind of people you want to encourage – people that abuse animals do not respect ANY life! This MUST be stopped!! We need to be the voice for those that cannot speak – DO NOT PASS THIS AG-GAG BILL! H.B. 405 Must be prevented!

  67. melissa arnold says:

    puppy mills should be shut down…period. no excuse for letting them continue….

  68. Darleen Charland says:

    Animal abuse is wrong. Anyone with any morals understands this. Looking the other way will only allow sick repulsive people to thrive. We should not give a safe haven to psychopaths. The consequence will be great. People need to be accountable for their behavior. Society believes that animals should be free from abuse. We should be making laws to punish repulsive atrocities against animals not hiding such things. Why would anyone even consider allowing a way for sick evil people a way to hide.

  69. Shelley Gould says:

    Stop this now

  70. Martha Scandella Astorga says:

    El planeta es de todos los seres vivientes, no “sólo” de los “humanos”!!!

  71. Marilyn says:

    Please call the Governor’s office 919-814-2000, send an email, or tweet @PatMcCroryNC and let him know your feelings on this disgusting bill.

  72. Sharon Ford says:

    This Bill is a disgrace to the State of North Carolina and should NOT be passed. I will never vote for anyone that would pass such a Bill!! These people must not be pet owners!

  73. Joye Stuart says:

    What a disgrace that there should even be any discussion about this horrendous bill! If the governor of this state cannot execute one act of decency by vetoing this bill….HB 405 / AG-GAG, he should be removed from office!

  74. Cathy Shumate says:

    please veto this bill.

  75. Lynn. Carter says:

    This world has gone to HELL BIG TIME. When all is said & done the human race shall be judged by the way that human-beings treated the Magnificent, Magestic, Animals of this land, BIG & SMALL. Who ever said ” Of all the life on earth, the humans are of superior level–on top, above all, & animals are on the lowest level–on the bottom??” I haven’t seen the proof of that yet. Every animal I’ve ever companioned has been gentle, loving, loyal, caring, helpfull, devoted etc. need I say more. Does any of that fit the description of the greed motivated 1/2 brains running Puppy Mills, Animal Farms, Animal races & An. Fights ?????

  76. Georgia says:

    Please veto HB 405.

  77. Aldea says:

    SESSION 2015
    HOUSE BILL 405
    The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
    SECTION 1. Chapter 99A of the General Statutes reads as rewritten:
    “Chapter 99A.
    “Civil Remedies for Criminal Actions.Interference With Property.
    Ҥ 99A-1. Recovery of damages for interference with property rights.
    Notwithstanding any other provisions of the General Statutes of North Carolina, when
    personal property is wrongfully taken and carried away from the owner or person in lawful
    possession of such property without his consent and with the intent to permanently deprive him
    of the use, possession and enjoyment of said property, a right of action arises for recovery of
    actual and punitive damages from any person who has or has had, possession of said property
    knowing the property to be stolen.
    An agent having possession, actual or constructive, of property lawfully owned by his
    principal, shall have a right of action in behalf of his principal for any unlawful interference
    with that possession by a third person.
    In cases of bailments where the possession is in the bailee, a trespass committed during the
    existence of the bailment shall give a right of action to the bailee for the interference with his
    special property and a concurrent right of action to the bailor for the interference with his
    general property.
    Any abuse of, or damage done to, the personal property of another or one who is in
    possession thereof, unlawfully, is a trespass for which damages may be recovered.
    Ҥ 99A-2. Recovery of damages for exceeding the scope of authorized access to property.
    (a) Any person who intentionally gains access to the nonpublic areas of another’s
    premises and engages in an act that exceeds the person’s authority to enter those areas is liable
    to the owner or operator of the premises for any damages sustained. For the purposes of this
    section, “nonpublic areas” shall mean those areas not accessible to or not intended to be
    accessed by the general public.
    (b) For the purposes of this section, an act that exceeds a person’s authority to enter the
    nonpublic areas of another’s premises is any of the following:
    (1) An employee who enters the nonpublic areas of an employer’s premises for a
    reason other than a bona fide intent of seeking or holding employment or
    doing business with the employer and thereafter without authorization
    captures or removes the employer’s data, paper, records, or any other
    documents and uses the information to breach the person’s duty of loyalty to
    the employer.
    (2) An employee who intentionally enters the nonpublic areas of an employer’s
    premises for a reason other than a bona fide intent of seeking or holding
    employment or doing business with the employer and thereafter without
    authorization records images or sound occurring within an employer’s
    premises and uses the recording to breach the person’s duty of loyalty to the
    (3) Knowingly or intentionally placing on the employer’s premises an
    unattended camera or electronic surveillance device and using that device to
    record images or data.
    Page 2 H405 [Ratified]
    (4) Conspiring in organized retail theft, as defined in Article 16A of Chapter 14
    of the General Statutes.
    (5) An act that substantially interferes with the ownership or possession of real
    (c) Any person who intentionally directs, assists, compensates, or induces another
    person to violate this section shall be jointly liable.
    (d) A court may award to a party who prevails in an action brought pursuant to this
    section one or more of the following remedies:
    (1) Equitable relief.
    (2) Compensatory damages as otherwise allowed by State or federal law.
    (3) Costs and fees, including reasonable attorneys’ fees.
    (4) Exemplary damages as otherwise allowed by State or federal law in the
    amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each day, or portion thereof,
    that a defendant has acted in violation of subsection (a) of this section.
    (e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to diminish the protections provided to
    employees under Article 21 of Chapter 95 or Article 14 of Chapter 126 of the General Statutes,
    nor may any party who is covered by these Articles be liable under this section.
    (f) This section shall not apply to any governmental agency or law enforcement officer
    engaged in a lawful investigation of the premises or the owner or operator of the premises.
    (g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit any other remedy available at
    common law or provided by the General Statutes.”
    SECTION 2. This act becomes effective January 1, 2016, and applies to acts
    committed on or after that date.
    In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 19th day of May,
    s/ Daniel J. Forest
    President of the Senate
    s/ Tim Moore
    Speaker of the House of Representatives
    Pat McCrory
    Approved __________.m. this ______________ day of ___________________, 2015

  78. Bea Ribeiro says:

    Dear Gov. McCrory,

    We in Brazil are shocked with this despicable piece of “legislation”.

    Having heard you speak against cruel treatment of animals, we are certain that you will NOT ALLOW it to see the light of day.

    No one with a heart would want to visit a place that attempts to gag those brave people who work to unveil the horrendous, criminal acts committed every day to innocent creatures of God… in the name of “business” .

    North Carolina would not be the America we know as the land of freedom and strong morals.

    Please do the moral, humane, smart thing to do: VETO and bury this shameful thing for good !!!!

    Thanks from Brazil.

  79. R Ibarguen says:

    Since when do we gag and punish people who denounce criminal acts?

    This is not America.

  80. L Lustosa says:

    Please VETO HB 405 –

    SHAMELESS, IMMORAL attempt to enforce GREED by covering up EVIL !!!!

  81. Bea Ribeiro says:

    Since when do we gag and punish those who denounce criminal acts??!
    This is not America.

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