Don’t Punish Activists for Rescuing At-Risk Animals

Target: Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Senator

Goal: Support increased protection for animals used for agriculture purposes.

A group sneaks onto a farm property with the intention of filming alleged acts of negligence and animal cruelty. One of the involved parties also takes a baby goat believed to be sick and destined for death. When Wayne Hsiung resumed his life and cared for the goat, whom he named Rain, he never imagined he could be staring down a multi-year prison sentence. Yet this exact fate awaited him after someone at the farm found his driver’s license that he had left behind. Although the animal rights activist ultimately received a suspended sentence and probation, he believes the legal system is bowing to pressure from agriculture special interests at the expense of at-risk animals.

He is not wrong. Over the past few years, increasing numbers of laws in America and around the world have targeted the ability of people to film and record acts of animal cruelty. In some cases, these individuals face increasingly stringent criminal charges. The right to rescue is also in debate. While a majority of states have laws on the books enabling individuals to take extraordinary means in rescuing dogs from overheated cars, no such legal avenues exist for other animals, especially animals considered livestock. These living beings should not receive less protection simply because of a powerful and influential industry.

Sign the petition below to urge an amendment to laws that harshly punish animal welfare advocates while shielding potential abusers.


Dear Senator Blumenthal,

As a national leader with a strong record on animal welfare, you should be concerned about the demonization and seeming targeting of animal rights advocates by the legal system. Recently, these individuals have been subject to prosecution for exposing potential animal cruelty through audio or video and for attempting to rescue animals believed to be in harm’s way. Laws should extend options for combating animal cruelty, not limit them.

Likely not coincidentally, many of these cases involve the agricultural industry. Animals deemed as livestock seem to have little regard or protection in the eyes of the government. They are omitted from most safeguards under the Animal Welfare Act yet are routinely the focus of some of the most long-standing and horrific acts of negligence and abuse. Special interests should not make these living beings lesser in the eyes of the law.

Please advocate for enhanced protection for these animals, up to and including inclusion in the nation’s standard-bearer animal welfare law, extension of right to rescue laws to livestock, and increased legal avenues for ordinary citizens to expose wrongdoing. Demonstrate your commitment to all living beings by backing these important reforms.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Arthouse Studio

One Comment

  1. I applaud this man. He did what he did out of good intentions for the animal. He took what the owner would kill as garbage. He helped the animal. We should all do that. Most owners of farms for animal agriculture don’t treat animals well thus they get enraged at being filmed where all can see their abuse. If we take away the activists there will be no one standing up for better animal treatment. For profit monsters don’t give a damn but activists are compassionate. I am glad this man did what he did and I am grateful he saved the animal. Thank you.

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