Please also see UPDATE on this article.
The debate and the vote on an Iowa bill that would restrict undercover videos of animal abuse on farms and possibly other establishments using animals has been postponed to Thursday, March 17, according to the Iowa legislature’s website, so if you have opinions yea or nay, there’s still time to voice them.
Tom Colvin, Executive Director of Animal Rescue League of Iowa and President of the Iowa Federation of Humane Societies told Animal Policy Examiner (APE) that comments from the public have a significant impact on Iowa legislators.
Lawmakers are particularly interested in hearing from Iowans, he said, but input from outside the state can also have an effect, as long as those concerned citizens are honest and identify themselves as being from out of state when making their remarks.
Colvin said that if passed the proposed new law, HF 589, could have a severe impact on the ability of individuals and animal protection groups to gather evidence about abuses on factory farms as well as at other companies, such as puppy mills, and could set a precedent for other states to pass similar legislation.
Shocking undercover video footage such as those obtained for the film “Farm to Fridge” by Mercy for Animals, The Humane Society of the United States, and other groups led to law enforcement and government agency investigations of and the ultimate closures of some animal agriculture companies.
Rep. Annette Sweeney, chief sponsor of the bill, was not immediately available for comment.
For more from APE’s interview with Colvin please check this page again soon.
To contact Iowa legislators who support or oppose the bill:
Rep. Annette Sweeney
Rep. Jim Lykam
Sen. Matt McCoy
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Katerina Lorenzatos Makris (a.k.a. Kathryn Makris) has written 18 books for major publishers and hundreds of articles for publications such as National Geographic Traveler, San Francisco Chronicle, Mother Jones, Petside.com, and two regional news wire services.
A cofounder of AnimalBeat.org, she holds a B.A. in Environmental Science Studies and a lifelong interest in animal issues.
Among her books are Your Adopted Dog: Everything You Need to Know about Rescuing and Caring for a Best Friend in Need (The Lyons Press), coauthored with Shelley Frostbegin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting, and The Eco-Kids, a series of novels for tweens (Avon Books).
Her story “Small Change” placed as a finalist in The Bark magazine’s short fiction contest and appeared in the November 2010 issue.
She may be reached at [email protected]