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North Carolina "Ag Gag" Bill Could Impact Daycare, Nursing Home Investigations

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Photo: A bill now sits on Gov. Pat McCrory's desk that critics say could impact undercover investigations at daycare and nursing home facilities, in addition to factory farms. Photo credit: anitapeppers/morguefile.com
Photo: A bill now sits on Gov. Pat McCrory's desk that critics say could impact undercover investigations at daycare and nursing home facilities, in addition to factory farms. Photo credit: anitapeppers/morguefile.com
May 26, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. – A bill (H405) commonly referred to as an ag gag bill now sits on Gov. Pat McCrory's desk, waiting on him to sign or veto the legislation.

While the bill has made headlines for its potential impact on whistle-blower investigations on factory farms, critics maintain the broad language of the bill could also impact investigations at nursing home and day care facilities.

"This ag gag bill has sweeping and broad impacts on the safety of really every resident in North Carolina,” says Matt Dominguez, public policy director for farm animal protection at the Humane Society of the United States. “If you have a parent in a nursing home or a child in day care, they are going to be put in harm's way by this bill."

The governor has a week left to sign or veto the legislation, which would criminalize undercover investigations by private citizens.

Supporters of the legislation say it protects property owners from rivals or activists trying to steal information, but does not apply to whistle-blowers.

A recent survey by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found that 74 percent of North Carolinians support undercover investigations.

The controversial legislation is gaining national attention, including public statements from celebrities Martha Stewart and North Carolina native and Andie MacDowell.

Dominguez says there's a reason for that.

"Essentially, this would silence all whistle blowers in every type of business in North Carolina, and it really puts millions of living creatures from humans to animals in harm's way," he states.

The Humane Society of the United States is currently running a commercial in the Raleigh market urging McCrory to veto the legislation.

"If your parent lived in an abusive nursing home, would you want to know?” the advertisement says. “If your day care was endangering your child, would you want to know? Tell Governor McCrory, stand with North Carolina families, not the corporate cover up. Veto HB 405."

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC