Court Enjoins Enforcement of Unconstitutional Ag-Gag Law

Posted by Matthew Liebman, ALDF Senior Attorney on November 12, 2015


Today Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued the final judgment declaring Idaho’s Ag-Gag law unconstitutional and enjoining the state from enforcing the law. The judgment comes as the result of a ground-breaking lawsuit filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, alongside a broad-based public interest coalition of advocates for animals, workers, journalists, the environment, and consumers.

In August, Judge Winmill issued a 29-page written opinion, which held that the Ag-Gag statute was unconstitutional because it violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. Judge Winmill observed that if the Ag-Gag law were allowed to stand, “[t]he effect of the statute will be to suppress speech by undercover investigators and whistleblowers concerning topics of great public importance: the safety of the public food supply, the safety of agricultural workers, the treatment and health of farm animals, and the impact of business activities on the environment.”

Today’s judgment gives legal effect to the August opinion by formally declaring the Ag-Gag statute unconstitutional and permanently enjoining and prohibiting the state from enforcing the statute.

As of today, undercover investigations at agricultural facilities in Idaho are once again legal. These investigations reveal the routine animal suffering inherent in the production of animal products and shine a light on an industry shrouded in secrecy.


18 thoughts on “Court Enjoins Enforcement of Unconstitutional Ag-Gag Law

  1. Robin Brasso says:

    This is so great!!

  2. Elvira Summers says:

    Congratulations, I am grateful and extremely grateful to the team at ADLF.

  3. Deborah Burckhardt says:

    When saying the truth becomes illegal and systematic animal abuse is legal and protected, it’s time to change the government.

  4. Carrie says:

    Although I am not a Vegan, i whole heartedly support the humane raising, treatment, and processing of cattle, poultry, swine,etc. I also strongly believe any meat should be eaten sparingly and as a nation we are consuming far more than necessary AND I abhorre the ‘factory’ farming practices currently allowed! We as a civilized culture need to stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves!

  5. Fatemah A. Nikchehi says:


  6. Janet Curtis says:

    we know what goes on now WHO will enforce and DO something? laws are gr8 but broken daily animal rights should be for cows pigs and all farm animals horses shouldnt be listed as livestock where is their justice? to me tis is just a statement. fed judge here told blm they were breaking th law..what did they do? nothing. but blm fws sure has ramped up the roundups! slaughter continues..horses are brutally treated still and factory farming abuse continues all day. where IS the justice? whole foods just caused 1500 horses to be rounded up. They made a deal with blm and cattle ranchers for their meat!!! This isnt stopping its getting worse! what an you do to stop it I dont neeed anymore observers I /we want prosecution and change now!!!

    1. scott says:


      I want to hear more about this. Please tell me what’s happening. 1500 horses were rounded up to slaughter for meat? Horses brutally treated and factory farming abuse? Who is blm? I am animals welfare advocate.


    2. Efraim says:

      Amen, Janet. I’m with you on all of this, though I am happy that ag-gag was shut down. At the very least, undercover reporters/whistle-blowers can’t be prosecuted, and some limit (not enough, I wholly agree) has been placed on agri-business’ presumption that it can circumscribe the US Constitution.

  7. Kathy Adams says:


  8. Scott says:

    Janet Curtis comment:

    Hi Janet,

    I want to hear more about this, but I don’t exactly what you mean. What is ‘blm’?

    Whole Foods rounded up 1500 horses for their meat? When was that?

    Also, by listing horses as livestock, that means their meat will be eaten?

    “slaughter continues..horses are brutally treated still and factory farming abuse continues all day.” please give me a link to the over situation, location, etc. thanks.

    I am for rights for animals advocate and would like to know more about what’s happening. pls let me know.



  9. Elisa Leflore says:

    Thank you for fighting for what is right. Regardless of the naysayers this is a huge win. I am quite impressed with this. Ag-gag and civil behavior cannot coexist. Hopefully this judge’s decision will stand and we will see more and more of this.

  10. joyce says:


  11. Kimberly Fortin says:

    Excellent for Idaho!

  12. Alice Dawson says:

    I’m tired of all this suppression of horrific accounts of abuse this torture of animals needs to STOP !!! The animals are giving their lives for human consumption n they deserve all the respect of that we have!!!

  13. Robert Isbell says:

    Governor Otter must be really sad. This Republican piece of dirt will no longer be able to fuck sheep, goats, and cows without fear of being caught on camera by an investigative reporter.

  14. wendy smith says:

    This cruelty has to stop. Animals deserve compassion,

  15. Sue Stanton says:

    This is great news and I wish there was someway that NC could get their Ag-Gag Law overturned. There are so many factory farms here that need monitoring.

  16. It’s one step in the right direction.

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