The Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are both applauding the Florida Legislature for throwing out a measure that would make it a crime for someone to take pictures on a farm without the owner’s permission.
Posts Tagged Wilton Simpson
After farm-photo bill dies in Florida, animal advocacy groups wary of Monsanto-backed version in Iowa
While Sen. Jim Norman’s controversial farm-photo bill may have died in the Florida Legislature, animal rights advocates are cautiously acknowledging the victory is a temporary one whose significance may ultimately be thwarted by laws currently pending in Iowa and Minnesota.
The bill, which would have created penalties for taking pictures on farms, drew a firestorm of opposition from animal rights groups who felt it would hamper whistleblowers’ efforts to expose inhumane farming conditions.
“If they don’t have anything to hide, what are they worrying about?”
According to the Florida Farm Bureau, state Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, drafted his controversial “Farms” bill at the behest of Wilton Simpson of Pasco County, whose Simpson Farms produces 21 million eggs annually for Florida’s second-largest egg seller, Tampa Farm Service, Inc. As currently written, Senate Bill 1246 would make photography “at or of a farm” a first-degree felony.
A bill filed by state Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, would make photographing farms without the written consent of the owner a first-degree felony in Florida. Senate Bill 1246, simply titled “Farms,” has caused a stir among animal-advocacy groups for comparing a potential whistleblower who might expose the realities of factory farming — or even a tourist snapping a photograph of cows grazing in a field — with those who commit murder or armed robbery.