Iowa Supports Factory Farmers and Passes Ag Gag LawPosted 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 ProtectYourFood.org.