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Monday, July 21, 2014

Law - "Ag-gag laws facing federal court challenges nationally"

From the IBJ/AP, this long July 20th story that begins:

The years-long fight between farm organizations and animal rights activists over laws prohibiting secretly filmed documentation of animal abuse is moving from state legislatures to federal courts as laws in Utah and Idaho face constitutional challenges.

Half of U.S. states have attempted to pass so-called ag-gag laws, but only seven including Indiana have been successful.

Indiana's proposed ag-gag law was scaled back considerably before receiving Gov. Mike Pence’s signature earlier this year. It makes trespassing on the production area of a farm a criminal offense and causing property damage to a farm an act of criminal mischief.

Among the other states with ag-gag statutes are Idaho, where the law says unauthorized recording is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine, and Utah, whose 2012 law makes it a crime to provide false information to gain access to a farm.

Both states now face separate but similarly worded lawsuits that say the measures violate federal statutes offering whistleblower protections and free-speech guarantees.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 21, 2014 08:40 AM
Posted to General Law Related