Environment Magazine

Charges Dropped Against Investigator Who Filmed Animal Cruelty

Posted on the 11 January 2014 by Earth First! Newswire @efjournal

Taylor Radig

by Will Potter / Green is the New Red

In yet another blow to the agriculture industry’s attempts to silence whistleblowers, the charges against an undercover investigator who filmed cruelty against farm animals have been dropped.

Taylor Radig had worked undercover at a cattle company, documenting animal welfare abuses for the animal rights group Compassion Over Killing. The investigation led to criminal charges against three farm workers. And then in an unprecedented move, Radig was prosecuted for animal cruelty as well.

[To learn more, read this in-depth interview with Taylor Radig: "I witnessed and reported animal abuse… and now was being charged with a crime myself.”]

After public outrage — including nearly 200,000 petition signatures — the Weld County District Attorney’s Office in Colorado announced it was dropping all charges.

In a brief statement, prosecutor’s said: “While the Sheriff’s Office determined that probable cause existed to believe that Ms. Radig committed that offense, the District Attorney’s Office evaluates a case based on whether the charges can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The District Attorney’s Office has concluded that the charges can’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and therefore those charges have been dismissed against Ms. Radig.”

The announcement is another defeat for Big Ag groups, which have attempted to criminalize similar investigations. “Ag-gag” bills were defeated in every state they were introduced last year. And the first ag-gag prosecution was also dismissed after public outrage. More bills are already appearing, though.

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