October 30, 2014

Humane Society Launches Whistleblower Hotline

By Marlene Koury

Whistleblowers now have a dedicated hotline to anonymously report animal abuse without running afoul of “ag-gag” laws aimed at criminalizing the documentation of cruelty on factory farms.  The Humane Society launched the hotline (1-888-209-7177) for whistleblowers to report cruelty and neglect on factory farms, at livestock auctions and in slaughter houses, offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who have committed acts of cruelty to farm animals.

The Humane Society said it launched the hotline “after agribusiness interests and their legislative allies made it virtually impossible to document cruelty on factory farms in a handful of states.”  Factory farms rely on ag-gag laws to intimidate would-be whistleblowers from documenting and reporting abuse.  The laws work to silence whistleblowers – except for those who are willing to take the risk of arrest, such as Taylor Radig, Whistleblower Insider’s 2013 Whistleblower of the Year.

Ms. Radig was arrested for documenting animal abuse at Quanah Cattle Company in Kersey, Colorado.  She went undercover and stealthily filmed the horrific animal abuse she encountered there, including three Quanah employees routinely abusing newborn calves, violently dragging them by their legs, lifting them by their tails, and throwing them onto the ground.  When she turned over the video to the Weld County, Colorado Sherriff’s office two months after ending her investigation, she was the one arrested for animal cruelty.  But Ms. Radig’s story ends well.  Following a huge public outcry, including a petition that garnered more than 186,000 signatures, the animal cruelty charges against Taylor were dropped, while charges went forward against the three workers she filmed.

To encourage whistleblowers to speak up, and to prevent stories like Ms. Radig’s from becoming common, the Humane Society will work with the United Farm Workers to distribute its hotline.  Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for the Humane Society said “the bleak conditions endured by animals on factory farms are often made worse by overt violence and neglect…pigs are often beaten.  Chickens are stomped on.  Lame cows are left for dead.  We want whistleblowers to know that help is just a phone call away.”

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One Response to “Humane Society Launches Whistleblower Hotline

  1. Its about time!! Animal abuser’s are punk bullies that cant pick on something that can fight back!! Most of them go on to abuse kids, women, others too that a straight fact. Seriel killers something like 90 % of them started out abusing animals. Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Luka Magnotta (Canada horrific last sickest killer) and Horowitz ak Son of Sam I believe thats who he was just to name a few all started on animals first. When u take a stand to make laws stronger for those of the cruelest meanest crimes you just may scare them enough letting them seehow Jail.or prisoncan be, to maybe possibly going out n doing again another time but worse. If you have kids or loved ones I dont understand how you could not take a stand against animalabusers becausemajority of them are very violent. Animal abuse is the most crimetoo where the guilty usually get nothing but a slap on the wrist which is so wrong when its something that should be treated as the most violent crimes out there there is period.Search the facts yourself.