Animal Agriculture Industry Tracks and Punishes Critics

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Animal Agriculture Industry Tracks and Punishes Critics
Short Title Animal Agriculture Industry Groups Monitor Animal Rights Activists and Do Intimidation Campaigns Against Them
Location United States
Date October 2020

Solove Harm Surveillance, Exclusion
Information Identifying, Behavioral, Preference, Professional, Social Network
Threat Actors US Department of Agriculture, Animal agriculture industry groups

Individuals
Affected Animal rights activists
High Risk Groups Political Activists
Tangible Harms

Animal agriculture industry groups engage in campaigns of surveillance, reputation-destruction and other forms of retaliation against industry critics and animal rights activists.

Description

Documents obtained through a FOIA request from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in October 2020 reveal 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.

These documents reveal private Surveillance activities aimed at animal rights groups and their members, by attending their events, monitoring traditional and social media and engaging our national network.

The documents also include proofs of Exclusion examples - 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.

For example, one respected veterinarian endured widespread attacks following an industry “alert” about her criticisms of factory farms.

Breakdown

Threat: US Department of Agriculture frequently monitoring animal rights activists by infiltrating their events, watching their activity on social media
At-Risk group: Animal rights activists
Harm: Surveillance
Secondary Consequences: Anxiety, Embarrassment

Threat: Animal agriculture industry groups secretly creating a climate of intimidation for activists, by posting their photos online, and by ostracisation campaigns
At-Risk group: Animal rights activists
Harm: Exclusion
Secondary Consequences: Anxiety

Laws and Regulations

Sources

https://twitter.com/theintercept/status/1314932493200613379