Food processing heavyweight Chobani is urging Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to veto a bill that would make penalties stricter for animal rights activists caught secretly filming Idaho agriculture facilities.
Chobani, which operates a huge Greek yogurt facility in Twin Falls, buys its milk from Idaho dairymen. In a press release, Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya says if passed, the measure would limit transparency.
"And make some instances of exposing the mistreatment of animals in the state punishable by imprisonment. This could cause the general public concern and conflicts with our views and values," Ulukaya says.
"As someone who grew up on a farm, I believe deeply that the humane treatment of animals is an ethical and moral imperative and, having spent a lot of time in upstate New York and Idaho, I know hundreds of farmers feel the same.
When I founded Chobani, it was based around these core values and principles. And we chose Idaho for Chobani's second home because of its deep farming culture, sense of community and shared values.
So I am joining many folks across the country in asking Governor Otter to reconsider the bill before him." - Hamdi Ulukaya
Earlier this week, animal rights advocate and former game show host Bob Barker sent a letter to Gov. Otter also urging him to veto the bill.
The bill has passed Idaho's House and Senate and was delivered to the governor Thursday.