I have mixed feelings about the ag gag bills. Notice the quote in one of the links posted above:
"While some members of the public will demand animal welfare reforms after seeing factory farming videos, animal rights is about whether humans have a right to use non-human animals for our purposes, regardless of how well the animals are treated." This is actually where some of the animal rights groups wnat to go - that animals can't be used for any purposes by humans. I don't think that's right or reasonable.
Having said that, I think that there are kind, ethical and humane ways to raise animals for food or for pets (yes, pets would also be used for an unnatural purpose by humans, as cats and dogs originally were hunters in the wild). The ag gag bills seem to be opposed to the goals of people who want to support humane animal handling, but in some ways they are not. For example, apparently some of the animal rights activisits like PETA go into these facilities or farms undercover, film dead animals (which we all know that calves die naturally, chickens die naturally) and try to make it look like they were abused. There may even be abuse going on, which they film -- and then sit on the case for months hoping to get more film. All the while, the abuse is STILL GOING ON. So, they decide (instead of taking it to the authoritities and letting THEM decide) when the abuse is enough and has to stop. I think that's part of the 48 hours rule....they can't have it both ways. They can't ignore the pain and suffering just to get more film. If there is abuse it has to go to the authorities within 48 hours.
Also, there are nuts out there. PETA activists have been known to let all the animals loose and them bomb or burn down buildings. There are stories that the really radical activists don't think anything is wrong with killing people who PETA thinks shouldn't have animals. So, that's very wrong. This ties in to the ag gag bill because those films and photos from stalkers on property will publsh their films and photos, and it creates a blueprint for nuts to get onto a property and do damage to people, property and - yes - even unintentionally to the animals if they are let out or distressed.
So, I think there needs to be something else entirely. I don't know what the solution is - perhaps more leeway for the authorities to investigate based on an oral tip without pictures? Perhaps upholding the laws that do exist?
And don't get me wrong - I am definitely in favor of humane treatment of animals. I eat my own lamb and beef but they ae happy, pastured animals and we ensure they are content until their final humane moment of disposition. We are border collie rescue owners, too, with 3 happy "freak" border collies that couldn't find good homes until they came here. I have a TWH mare and have not registered her in my own name because I refuse to send money to the TWHBEA until they clean up their act; I can only hope it's in my mare's lifetime, for the sakes of all her kinfolk equines.
And, I will not send a dime to HSUS until they show me that they are spending their dimes on actually caring for animals - only 1% of their massive wealth goes to rescue organizations or to provide funds for rescuing animals. If you look behind the story to see where these Tennessee horses ended up, I will bet you that they're at a not-for-profit rescue organization that doesn't get any support from HSUS. That's what HSUS does - it hides behind the rescue organizations but doesn't actually support them; their money goes to lawyers and lobbyists, and advertising for fund raising. They're very good at it.