To The Daily Sun,
When I first read about the farm animal bill (HB-110) I couldn't understand how anyone could oppose it. The bill requires anyone who records farm animal cruelty to report it and turn over videotapes or photographs documenting the abuse within 24 hours. Since I can't stand to see cruel treatment toward any animal or human, I thought this bill was a great idea.
I was confused when I read that the Humane Society of the U.S. and the N.H. ACLU were opposed to the bill. Why would these organizations be against legislation requiring witnesses of animal cruelty to report it to officials within 24 hours?
I learned that undercover investigators from animal protection groups go to farms to videotape animal cruelty. Some of them stay at the farms for two to three months, taping and recording, never for just a day or two. The reason for this is, documentation of an isolated incident of cruelty can be dismissed as just that, an isolated incident. Investigators must prove a pattern of abuse in order to build a case that will stand up in court. It would be very difficult to establish a pattern of abuse in just 24 hours, and this is where the brilliant and insidious nature of this bill starts to become clear: it would thwart attempts to establish a pattern of abuse, thus preventing prosecutors from successfully winning a court case against farm animal abusers.
This bill has been passed by the N.H. Committee on Environment and Agriculture, and will then be voted on by the House of Representatives in the second week of January. Please contact your reps and ask them to vote against HB-110. You can find your representatives and their contact information here: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/