SOURCE: Last Chance for Animals

Last Chance for Animals

April 01, 2015 13:20 ET

Sweeping Anti-Whistleblower Bill Fails Following Campaign by Last Chance for Animals

Arkansas HB 1774 Killed in Committee After Animal Rights Group Brings Media Attention

LITTLE ROCK, AR--(Marketwired - Apr 1, 2015) - A bill that would have stifled whistleblowers in the workplace has failed in the House Judiciary Committee, following a public campaign by animal rights group Last Chance for Animals (LCA). Arkansas HB 1774 would have barred all audio recordings of people who work together in any capacity unless all parties granted consent.

LCA argued that this bill would have silenced victims of harassment or discrimination, or those forced to work in unsafe conditions. Walmart and Tyson Foods, the largest non-government employers in Arkansas, would have benefited, at the expense of their workers.

The bill would have also greatly hindered undercover investigations. LCA relied on worker recordings to help bring justice to B dealer C.C. Baird, who bought stolen dogs, physically abused them and sold them for medical research.

To fight HB 1774, LCA did the following:

  • Contacted TV stations and newspapers, appearing on Little Rock's local ABC news channel, KATV.
  • Issued a petition at EndAgGagLaws.com, which garnered thousands of signatures. Each signer sent an email message to Arkansas Representative Matthew Shepherd, chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
  • Mobilized their supporter base to call and write the Arkansas House, urging them to stop the bill.

"This was a dangerous bill, and we are very pleased to see it fail," said Nina Hauptman, director of campaigns for LCA. "Such sweeping anti-whistleblower legislation is bad for workers and bad for the animals we save via undercover investigations."

LCA plans to continue the fight against anti-whistleblower bills, also called "ag gag" bills because they often serve the agriculture industry by blocking taping at factory farms.

Last Chance for Animals is an international animal advocacy organization that conducts undercover investigations and launches public awareness campaigns to expose animal cruelty. LCA's Special Investigations Unit travels the world to document abuse in research labs, puppy mills, factory farms and the entertainment industry. www.LCAnimal.org