Iowa Supports Factory Farmers and Passes Ag Gag Law

Posted by Matthew Liebman, ALDF Staff Attorney on March 5, 2012

On March 2, Iowa governor Terry Branstad caved to the factory farming industries and signed House File 589, an “ag gag” law designed to keep the public in the dark about the cruelty that pervades modern animal agriculture.

The Iowa law establishes the crime of “agricultural production facility fraud,” which includes obtaining access to a factory farm “by false pretenses” or knowingly making false statements on an employment application “with the intent to commit an act not authorized by the owner.”  

The law is aimed at animal advocates who go undercover at factory farms to expose the exploitation of animals at these facilities, but as the Animal Legal Defense Fund has pointed out, these laws also pose significant threats to law enforcement, public health, farm workers’ rights, environmental regulation, and investigative journalism. Iowa’s first attempt at an ag gag bill failed due in large part to questions about its constitutionality, and legal scholars are already raising the same issues with the new law.  

Learn more about what ALDF is doing to stop ag gag laws at

10 thoughts on “Iowa Supports Factory Farmers and Passes Ag Gag Law

  1. Sandra Digilio says:

    What is wrong with this picture? HELLO is there anyone in there?? This new ridicilous law is like saying, “go ahead and hurt animals, we will look the other way”. This is like the don’t ask don’t tell law that was recently done away with. Animals do NOT have a voice to speak so we have to as good citizens and be a watchful eye to the animals, creatures of God. It is our lawful duty to protect & care for them. Use your energy to PREVENT animal abuse not to encourage it!

  2. Devorah Mitchell says:

    Why are the factory farmers so opposed to people making videos of how the animals on factory farms are treated if they have nothing to hide? The truth is they do have something to hide. They don’t want people to know of the cruelty and abuse inflicted on these animals. It doesn’t matter whether or not these animals were raised to be part of the food chain, there is no need for their lives to be miserable day in and day out until they are slaughtered. There is no reason why these animals cannot be treated with compassion. People who care about how these animals are abused are the only voice these animals have. There is no reason why these should be the victims of cruelty and abuse before they are slaughtered. Their brief time on Earth should not be a life of torment and pain. The abusers need to be exposed and if people have to go undercover to expose the abuse, then so be it. Please don’t try to make criminals of those trying to expose unnecessary cruelty and abuse. Ag gag laws are wrong. People need to know the truth, and these innocent animals need to have a voice.

  3. Patricia Viamontes says:

    Our only recourse is for all of us to go vegetarian! This will hurt the farmers in their pockets. Believe me, it is not difficult to give up meat…there are tasty alternatives that tastes like meat. You won’t miss it and you will feel much better physically and mentally…knowing animals are not being mistreated in order for you to have consumption of a product that your body does not even need.

  4. brandao says:

    I am amazed to see that law allows abused farm animals, they spend a considerable money to get a law of permission to the cruelty they should spend that money to place videos on their farms. These people are dishonest and therefore intend to do harm to animals! Isaiah 10:1,2 “Woe to Those Who decree unjust statutes and to Those Who Continually record unjust decisions, ….”

  5. Zaida Jorat says:

    This law is basically a permit to practice cruelty and to hide everything else unlawful happening in the industry.

  6. Pam Bollinger says:

    I agree with Devorah. If there is nothing to hide, then it shouldn’t be a problem with people showing up unannounced. They should take pride in their farms and work and keep things under control

  7. Grady says:

    ANIMAL SACRIFICES are the result of early religions that offered in the name of God animals to be murdered for the remission of sins. The real sins are committed in our worldwide societies in the forms of: slaughterhouses,kosher killings,farm animal abuse: tail and ear docking,teeth pulled out and castration all done without medication or anesthesia,hunting,trapping,fur farms where animals are anally electrocuted and drowned,canadian annual seal murders where thousands of baby harp seals are clubbed to death while their wailing mothers watch defenseless, baby harp seals are often skinned alive as well,fishing,vivisection,animal experimentations,animal sports:bull,rooster,dog fightings,dog and horse racing,annual animal sacrifices held in India where thousands of animals are murdered in the name of religion,circuses that use animals,rodeos, the list goes on and on. Why is it that rabbis,preachers,clergy never speak about these horrors? because it would put a chinck in the armor of their belief system that the word of God and the scriptures are 100% infallible. That the scriptures comes from the holy spirit that cannot be desputed. These injunctions and precepts given were the death sentence to the animal kingdom. God instilled into all human beings love,compassion,mercy and a conscience to know what is truly the word of God or what the prophets excepted the devil’s spirited interpretation. All these attributes were seared by lust of the blood in these slaughterhouse religions of the old testament and other world wide religions that accept animal sacrifices as a dogma in their religion or religions. We as human beings must become first humane beings and speak up against what is morally right and just not about person,countries,nationalities,ethnicticties,traditions,customs,races,creeds,etc. Until these Christ like attributes are truly utilized by practicing the principles of vegetarianism, animal rights and their protection then we can infuse the human kingdom with the animal kingdom where both can live in peace and harmony as worldwide planetarian citizens.

  8. Debbie Friedrichsen says:

    The Iowa governor did not cave to big ag interests on this bill, he’s one of them. I wish we had recall options in Iowa.

  9. Dave and Rita Cross says:

    The Governor of Iowa should be ashamed of himself! He is saying that it is OK to abuse animals and that it is OK to hide the cruelty behind closed doors! Preposterous and so ignorant! Is this law legal? Doubtful!

  10. Elaine Hill says:

    Just stop eating animals and their products. It’s the only way to stop this cruelty.

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