The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has launched a hotline that offers a reward for whistleblowers who report cruelty and neglect on factory farms, at livestock auctions, and in slaughter houses. The organization is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who have committed acts of cruelty to farm animals. The hotline was created after Idaho became the seventh state to put an “ag-gag law” on the books to criminalize undercover investigations of agricultural facilities. Animal cruelty laws vary among states, but punching, kicking and other overt acts of violence are usually illegal. Denying adequate food, water, shelter and veterinary care to animals may lead to prosecution. “The bleak conditions endured by animals on factory farms are often made worse by overt violence and neglect,” said Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for HSUS. “Pigs are often beaten. Chickens are stomped on. Lame cows are left for dead. We want whistleblowers to know that help is just a phone call away.”