More voices have come out against Idaho’s Ag Gag bill as attention on the state increases. First, Chobani has issued a statement against the anti-whistleblower legislation. Now, a USDA whistleblower from Idaho, Dr. Daryl Jacobs – who has witnessed many abuses on dairy farms in the state – has come forward to FIC with his misgivings about the law and why undercover video (which the bill aims to prevent) is needed.
As a former veterinarian for the USDA, I have seen a lot of unfortunate things come out of Idaho dairy farms. Broken bones, cows sick with cancer, and loaded with antibiotics. I understand why some farms would want to keep their abuses hidden, but a few bad apples shouldn’t get the benefit of a bad law. The reality is, some of these farms shouldn’t be in business, they’re causing a lot of suffering and ruining the reputation of good farmers. Undercover investigation is important for exposing all kinds of illegal and immoral activities, not just problems at dairy farms and whistleblowers need video to validate and substantiate what they’re saying. As a concerned veterinarian and proud Idahoan, I know something has to be done to protect these cows and keep the food supply safe, and if these undercover videos can stop cows from suffering and keep food safe, then I’m all for it! I think we can do better than this dangerous law, for animals, farmers and consumers’ sake.
More on undercover video and Ag Gag’s push to silence agriculture whistleblowers here.
Sarah Damian is Communications Manager for the Food Integrity Campaign.