By Mary Kuhlman
Whistleblowers in Indiana could earn a reward of up to $5,000 if their tip leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the abuse of farm animals.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has just launched a national tip line where callers can report animal abuse at farms, slaughterhouses or livestock auctions.
Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection with HSUS, says his organization's undercover investigations have found animal abuse at factory farms and slaughterhouses to be rampant across the U.S.
"Our exposes have found evidence of workers and management cruelly beating, kicking, dragging, even torturing animals," he says. "This is the type of cruelty that simply has no place in our society, and it needs to stop."
The tip line is especially designed for workers at farms and slaughterhouses, but anyone can call to report abuse and remain anonymous if they choose.
The Humane Society will investigate and verify all claims, and up to $5,000 will be paid if the tip leads to the arrest and conviction of those who have committed acts of cruelty against farm animals.
Shapiro says the tip line is the result of some states passing "Ag-Gag" laws, such as Idaho, where it is now illegal to photograph farm animals being abused in a facility.
"It's basically evidence of an industry that is grasping at straws, trying to keep Americans in the dark," he says. "You know an industry has a lot to hide when they want to make it a crime to document the abuse of animals."
The hotline number is 1-888-209-7177.