February 29, 2012 08:24:00 GMT
PETA reported that the 'One for the Money' actress has sent the letter out of concern that animal abuse will go unreported since the bill would criminalize undercover filming on factory farms.
Katherine Heigl proves that she is a true animal lover. After Utah lawmakers proposed an "ag gag" bill that would criminalize filming on factory farm, the former "Grey's Anatomy" star sent a letter to every member of the Utah Senate on PETA's behalf in an attempt to persuade them to vote against House Bill (H.B.) 187.
"My husband and I married in Utah, and I've been proud to call the state home for the last couple of years," the 33-year-old wrote. "This bill makes our state's agricultural community seem desperate to hide illegal and inhumane treatment of animals from the public. As animals cannot defend themselves, the public must maintain its right to document illegal cruel practices in order to alert law enforcement to its existence."
"In 2008, my friends at PETA went undercover at a major pig farm in Iowa that supplies Hormel and found that workers were beating pigs with metal rods and jabbing clothespins into their eyes; one employee was even caught sexually abusing a pig with a cane. Because of this investigation, six workers were charged with a total of 22 counts of livestock neglect and abuse, and all of them admitted guilt."
"PETA worked hand in hand with local law enforcement to achieve these convictions, for which the undercover footage made the sheriff's job much easier. Please don't impede law enforcement by passing this terrible bill," she continued on. "I hope that legislators in Utah recognize that they need to work to prevent cruelty to animals by strengthening laws, not penalizing those who are trying to expose this cruelty."
Heigl isn't the only celebrity who has voiced her concern that animal abuse will go unreported if the bill passes. Former "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Cloris Leachman has also sent her letter to Utah lawmakers. In it, she noted, "Citizens' right to document cruelty to animals - wherever it occurs - is crucial in helping local, state, and federal officials enforce anti-cruelty laws."
PETA claimed that similar "ag gag" bills have been suggested in Florida, Minnesota, New York and Iowa back in 2011, but they have been shot down. The Utah Senate has until March 8 to move on the bill.