Wednesday, March 19, 2014

KIVI: Idaho Senator Served With Cease And Desist After 'Ag-Gag' Comments

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 9:47 AM

A state senator has been served a cease and desist order over his comments about a video depicting animal abuse at an Idaho dairy, KIVI-TV reports.

State Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, told reporters that a video filmed at Bettencourt Dairy by Mercy for Animals was a fabrication, and that dairy workers who had been filmed abusing cattle—several of whom were subsequently charged with cruelty to animals—were prompted to the abuse by the unidentified cameraman. 

"[The cameraman] was encouraging them and directing it and telling them what he wanted to film and they were doing what he wanted," Rice had told reporters previously.

Rice was slated to appear on the Tuesday, March 18, KIVI-TV news report about the recently-passed ag-gag law, which is the subject of a recently filed lawsuit by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, ACLU-Idaho and others against Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. But prior to the interview, Rice was served the cease and desist order, filed against him by Mercy for Animals, in addition to the threat of a defamation lawsuit if Rice continued to make unsubstantiated claims about the group.

"Unsupported accusations represent a new low for 'ag-gag' supporters who are willing to lie and go to great lengths to cover up animal cruelty on factory farms and intimidating whistleblowers," said Matt Rice, director of investigations at Mercy for Animals.

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