Posts Tagged ‘florida’

Florida “Ag Gag” Bill to be Amended in Senate

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

by Ashley Lopez (Florida Independent)

During a state Senate agriculture committee today, a measure created to stop animal rights activists from taking pictures of farming operations in Florida was asked to be amended before receiving a vote.

State Sen. Jim Norman’s omnibus agriculture bill currently has a provision that activists have nicknamed an “Ag Gag.” The measure would prevent the release of information (photos, video, etc.) obtained by “whistleblowing employees and undercover investigations.” The information, in the past, has included exposés documenting “animal abuse, unsafe working conditions, and environmental problems,” according to one group.

If passed, anyone taking pictures or recording images of “a farm or farm operation … without the prior written consent of the farm’s owner or the owner’s authorized representative” would be guilty of a crime.

As The Florida Independent’s Brett Ader previously reported, the bill had been crafted “at the behest of Wilton Simpson of Pasco County, where Simpson Farms produces 21 million eggs annually for Florida’s second-largest egg seller, Tampa Farm Service.”

During today’s committee hearing, groups such as the Florida Feed Association and a state cattle group showed their support for the bill. Norman’s representative at the hearing claimed the provisions is a way to prevent situations where activists take pictures that “mislead the public” by showing actions they say are “inhumane” but are actually “legitimate practices.”

“It is to protect, in a way, agriculture industry,” Norman’s representative said. He claimed it was a response to the media’s negative view of the industry.

But some on today’s panel questioned what exactly the bill was created to prevent.

State Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, understood that the bill was aimed at stopping misrepresentation of farm work, referring to the tactic as “making a scene.” Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, pointed out that that wrinkly is not explicitly stated in the bill. He argued that the “Ag Gag” portion of the bill was written unclearly.

Laura Bevan of the Humane Society of the United States, who testified against the bill today, agreed. She explained that the bill is ”very broad” and could have “unintended consequences.”

“There are already bills that takes care of trespassing and slander,” she said.

Bevan also argued that there are no examples of activists getting industries in trouble because of video that “misrepresents” farming.

“That has never happened,” she said. “We are basically saying that if someone is falsifying documents, there is another way of dealing with that.”

“What are we hiding?” Bevan asked the committee. “What does agriculture have to hide?  This is basically slamming the doors and saying, ‘What happens on the farm stays on the farm.’”

Due to the uncertainty of the language in the bill, Paula Dockery, R- Lakeland, asked that the “Ag Gag” portion be amended before the committee casts a vote on the bill. The committee agreed.

An unamended House version of this bill has already made its way through the House agriculture committee.

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Extremism in Florida: The Dark Side of the Sunshine State

Monday, June 20th, 2011

After serious consideration, I decided that this report by the “Anti-Defamation League” makes an important and relevant statement about Animal Liberation and the conspiratorial nature of the state’s propaganda networks. The fact that the ADL is unwilling to distinguish between Al Queda, Nazis, prison gangs, the KKK, Muslim extremists, and Animal Rights activists is quite illuminating…  (View entire report here: ADL – ExtremismFloridaINSIDE)

Animal Rights Extremism

Although Florida has largely been free from major criminal acts related to environmental and animal rights extremism, several radical groups have a presence in the Sunshine State.

One extreme animal rights group, Negotiation Is Over[,] Florida (NIOF), a grassroots group that aims to “create a network of militant activism across the state,” has a web site that promotes campaigns against individuals and institutions it perceives as responsible for the mistreatment of animals. The site features guidance on “researching” targets, details on upcoming protests, and personal information about designated human targets, including multiple University of Florida researchers who have experienced threats and home demonstrations in recent years. Shortly after moving from New York to Florida in 2008, NIOF organizer Camille Marino indicated that the University of Florida would be the target of a “long, grueling” and “personal” campaign by animal rights activists. On its Facebook page, NIOF repeats the mantra of its national umbrella organization:

“The time for civil discourse, dialogue, or discussion of any kind has expired.”

Animal rights extremists also often target Florida corporations involved in the vivisection industry. Since 2008, companies like Primate Products, Inc., and Worldwide Primates, Inc., have been subject to break-ins, “liberation” of their animals, and, in one case, vandalism of an executive’s personal property. Responsibility for several of these acts was claimed by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), the most active extreme animal rights movement in the country.

The radical environmental movement has also long been active in Florida, though its actions are characterized primarily by sit-ins and demonstrations, rather than by the large-scale acts of property destruction carried out by radical environmentalists elsewhere. It is not uncommon for members of Everglades Earth First!, the local chapter of the national radical environmental group Earth First!, to be arrested for trespassing, unlawful assembly and resisting arrest during demonstrations against power plants and commercial developers they perceive as being responsible for urban sprawl and overdevelopment.

Florida is home to two magazines dedicated to promoting radical animal rights and environmental rights agendas. Bite Back, based in West Palm Beach, provides information about the criminal activities of radical animal liberation groups. The magazine has also featured threats of vandalism and violence against animal researchers, and, in 2007, settled a lawsuit in which the New York Stock Exchange accused Bite Back of “encouraging or inciting… extremist and illegal activities.”

The Earth First! Journal, which reports on the ideology and activities of what it describes as the “no compromise ecological movement,” announced in 2010 that it would be moving its operations to Lake Worth by early 2011.

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Four Alligators Liberated in Florida

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Action Dedicated to Animal Liberation POW Walter Bond

See more pics on Voice of the Voiceless

Posted by NAALPO
For Immediate Release
May 9, 2011

received anonymously:

Somewhere in Florida on May 1, a 14-foot alligator, was liberated from his pit of despair where he was a caged tourist attraction. He was imprisoned in a shallow pool of stagnant green water, no pump, no food, unable to return to his home only yards away. Three baby alligators used as photo props were also freed. All four made it to the river as night fell. The next time the prison guard goes out on the river, we hope his former detainees will greet him appropriately.

This liberation is dedicated to POW Walter Bond and all of our imprisoned comrades.

-The Resistance

[Historically, alligators were depleted from many parts of their range as a result of market hunting and loss of habitat, and 30 years ago many people believed their population would never recover. In 1967, the alligator was listed as an endangered species. The average lifespan for an alligator is 50 years. Alligator farming is a big and growing industry in Georgia, Florida, Texas and Louisiana. These states produce a combined annual total of some 45,000 alligator hides; the market for alligator meat is growing and approximately 300,000 pounds of meat is produced annually.

Alligators are only native to the United States and China. Alligators are generally timid towards humans and tend to walk or swim away if one approaches. This has led some people to the practice of approaching alligators and their nests in a manner that may provoke the animals into attacking. In the state of Florida, it is illegal to feed wild alligators at any time. If fed, the alligators will eventually lose their fear of humans and will learn to associate humans with food, thereby becoming a greater danger to people. Alligators, unlike the large crocodiles, do not immediately regard a human upon encounter as prey, but may still attack in self-defense if provoked. There were only nine fatal attacks in the U.S. throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Alligators live in wetlands and this is the vital habitat that holds the key to their continued long-term survival. As apex predators, they help control the population of rodents and other animals that might overtax the marshland vegetation. Alligators are protective parents who will protect their young by attacking anything that comes too close or poses threats to baby alligators. ]

Contact: Camille Marino
(213) 640-5048 – press office
(352) 396-4132 – cell

Animal Liberation Press Office
3371 Glendale Blvd. #107
Los Angeles, CA 90039

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Alert: FBI Seeking Informants in Florida

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Law enforcement exposed offering to pay informants in Florida

by Peter Young (Voice of the Voiceless)

There were two reports this week of the FBI / police in Florida seeking informants to provide intelligence on the local animal rights movement.

In the first instance, a woman in West Palm Beach who is active in dog rescue was visited at home by an FBI agent. They told her anti-vivisection activists are “crossing the line,” becoming “dangerous” and will “hurt someone.”  The agent told her, “You have access that I don’t have.” She was told that she would be “rewarded” for any information she provided. The agent also offered to take her to lunch. She told the agent she wasn’t interested. Before leaving, the agent warned her not to associate with animal rights activists.

Earlier in April,  an activist who does web design for a living was contacted by a “fitness trainer” looking for help creating a website. The activist met the woman at a cafe and they spoke for an hour about the project. The “trainer” supplemented her story with photos of her working out, etc.  During a second meeting, out of the blue, the woman mentioned that her boyfriend was friends with someone who works for the FBI, and that the FBI would “pay really well” for information about local animal rights activists. She claimed to be concerned that activists “could get violent.” The activist quickly ended the conversation.

It is important to raise awareness when the FBI starts making the rounds. The best defense is always silence, and stories like this should provide a prompt for activists to remind themselves why it is never ok to talk to the police. If you have not already, please read If An Agent Knocks.

If you have been visited by the FBI, please call the NLG’s Green Scare hotline: 888-NLG-ECOLAW.

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