BOISE -- The spokesperson for a national animal rights agency was in Boise Monday, gearing up to fight against a recent agriculture security proposal in Idaho.
It involves prosecuting those who shoot undercover video inside farming facilities.
Sen. Jim Patrick says the bill was designed to protect Idaho farmers against several things -- trespassing, theft, wrongful employment, and recording undercover what's going on inside these facilities.
A TV advertisement reminds Idahoans of the horrific and cruel animal abuse found inside Bettencourt Dairies back in 2012.
It's in opposition to a recently proposed agriculture bill that would make it illegal to shoot undercover videos like this one at an Idaho farm.
Really horrible animal cruelty, kicking, punching of those poor cows, the industry's response s to introduce an ag gag bill and instead of cleaning up their industry, which is much needed, it would rather silence anyone who speaks out against them, said Matthew Dominguez.
The Humane Society of the U.S. is behind the ads and says the bill is aimed at covering up possible abuse.
We believe people have a right to know where their food is coming from, they have a right to know how the animals on these farms are being treated. The dairy industry obviously doesn't agree, said Dominguez.
The organization behind the video agrees the legislation reduces the transparency Idahoans deserve when it comes to their agriculture.
This bill is an obvious attempt to keep consumers in the dark, threaten public health, food safety, and to shield animal abusers from public scrutiny, said Matt Rice with Mercy for Animals.
But the senator behind the bill says that's far from the goal.
I love animals and want to make it very clear I would be the first to turn someone and for animal abuse, and so would most people I know, said Sen. Patrick.
Patrick says undercover video is just one small piece of this legislation. His says the bigger goal is protecting Idaho's farms from people would could come in undercover and contaminate, or even destroy a farm product.
As for this video, Patrick believes the abuse seen here was encouraged and even set up by the person taping it.
That's what we are trying to avoid, being encouraged to find a violation of the law, and I think if you pay someone to find it, they'll find it, and it may not really be what happened, said Patrick.
But animals rights groups insist the bill would let farmers hide what Idahoans deserve to know.
From an animal welfare perspective there is no bill more dangerous than these ag gag bills, it's not just for animal welfare, but safety, said Dominguez.
A public hearing on the bill is scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday at the Statehouse.