Ind. bill would make undercover video at farms illegal

Not sure how to feel about this one. One the one hand, I certainly would be upset if I caught somebody prowling around my pastures with a video camera. But I'd be upset because they were prowling around my pastures, not because they had a video camera - and there are trespassing laws that cover that.

Despite the wording and legalese covering this, I think the main intent of this legislation is clear - to prevent people from documenting animal abuse. And that's a pretty ignoble intent, if you ask me.

I've let lots of customers take pictures (and video) of our critters - and they've never posted one to YouTube showing anyone kicking a chicken or stomping a sheep. You know why? 'Cause we don't kick chickens or stomp sheep! What a concept!

I'd like to suggest to Rose Acre Farms that if they wish to stop PR nightmares from showing up on the Net, the best place to do that is in their barns, by dealing swiftly and severely with any animal abuse they uncover. Otherwise it seems to me that their support for this bill backs up the case being made by the surreptitious videos. In any case, it's for consumers to decide, not the legislature.

A measure that would make it illegal to make undercover videos of a farm or business passed an Indiana Senate committee Tuesday.

(link) [USA Today]

22:27 /Agriculture | 3 comments | permanent link

Monsanto's Supreme Court Seed Fight

A vital case - it will be very interesting to try and puzzle out from the oral arguments why the court agreed to hear this, seeing as how both appellate courts had strongly upheld the original judgment. I can only hope that some semblance of reason prevails, and Monsanto is sent packing. If not, virtually any seed purchased or raised from any source could be subject to patent liability. It would, more or less, turn the same patent trolls that have been such a plague on the software industry loose in the garden - and if you think natural pests can destroy crops and wreck havoc wait til you see what unnatural ones (as in lawyers) can do...

On Tuesday morning, the justices will hear oral argument in a fascinating case that would very much have interested Guthrie were he alive today. The case is styled Bowman v. Monsanto and, technically, it's a conflict over seed-planning and federal patent law. It's a story about technology and innovation and investment, about legal standards and appellate precedent and statutory intent, about the nature of nature and how the law ought to answer the basic question of who owns the rights to the seeds of planted seeds.

(link) [The Atlantic]

Update:It don't look good.

22:11 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link