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Activism

October 10, 2020 - The Intercept

USA: New Documents Reveal How the Animal Agriculture Industry Surveils and Punishes Critics

USA: New Documents Reveal How the Animal Agriculture Industry Surveils and Punishes Critics
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A respected Bay Area veterinarian endures widespread attacks following an industry “alert” about her criticisms of factory farms.

Animal agriculture industry groups defending factory farms engage in campaigns of surveillance, reputation-destruction and other forms of retaliation against industry critics and animal rights activists, documents obtained through a FOIA request from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveal. That the USDA possesses these emails and other documents demonstrates the federal government’s knowledge of, if not participation in, these industry campaigns.

These documents detail ongoing monitoring of the social media of news outlets, including The Intercept, which report critically on factory farms. They reveal private surveillance activities aimed at animal rights groups and their members. They include discussions of how to create a climate of intimidation for activists who work against industry abuses, including by photographing the activists and publishing the photos online. And they describe a coordinated ostracization campaign that specifically targets veterinarians who criticize industry practices, out of concern that veterinarians are uniquely well-positioned to persuasively and powerfully denounce industry abuses.

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The Intercept


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