North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory today vetoed a dangerous ag-gag bill that would have punished whistleblowers who report abuse at any workplace in the state, including factory farms, nursing homes, and day care centers. “I won’t discourage employees from reporting illegal activities, which is why I vetoed HB 405,” the governor tweeted to his followers.
The bill’s defeat is the culmination of a major boots-on-the-ground campaign by The HSUS, including television ads that called on the governor to veto the bill. The AARP, ASPCA, Mercy for Animals, Compassion Over Killing, The Humane League, and other groups weighed in with their own memberships, and the governor’s office heard from so many North Carolina constituents who don’t want cruelty to be hidden from the public.
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association delivered a letter from 47 North Carolina-based farmers to the governor. The News & Observer, Charlotte Observer, Fayetteville Observer, and News & Record all editorialized emphatically in favor of a veto.
A recent survey showed that 74 percent of North Carolinians support undercover investigations of animal abuse and food safety hazards, which this bill would have prevented. More than 130,000 people signed a petition urging Gov. McCrory to veto, and thousands of you tweeted, posted, and called.
A bevy of celebrities added their voices to a call for a veto, including North Carolina’s own Bellamy Young and Andie MacDowell, as well as Kesha, Martha Stewart, Eric McCormack, Nikki Reed, Katherine Schwarzenegger, and more.
The factory farming industry does not want the public to see how animals are confined for their entire lives in small cages, and treated in such miserable ways. They are lobbying to shield their activities from public view and from public scrutiny, and your HSUS is fighting back to pull back the curtain.
We applaud Gov. McCrory for standing up for the principles of promoting transparency and rooting out cruelty, whether to animals or to veterans or to senior citizens. We hope the North Carolina legislature will respect the veto and not attempt an override. Thanks to all of you who contacted the governor’s office and stood with us in this fight – you made a difference.