Ag-Gag Laws

Ag-Gag laws seek to “gag” would-be whistleblowers and undercover activists by punishing them for recording footage of what goes on in animal agriculture.

As the name suggests, Ag-Gag laws seek to “gag” would-be whistleblowers and undercover activists by punishing them for recording footage of what goes on in animal agriculture. They were originally designed to prevent the public from learning about animal cruelty.

Stop Ag-Gag Laws

Undercover investigations and whistleblowers have exposed some of the worst aspects of factory farming, but Ag-Gag laws punish people who speak out about cruelty in animal agriculture. Voice your opposition.

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More recently, as is the case in North Carolina and Arkansas, states are passing laws which not only criminalize whistleblowing in agricultural facilities but any private business, including hospitals, elder care facilities, veteran care facilities, and schools.

Why Are Ag-Gag Laws Harmful?

The ability to investigate, document, and publicize corporate agriculture’s abuses is imperative both to the well-being of animals across the nation—and to our own health and safety.

Factory farms want to keep their cruel practices hidden from the public, but the public deserves the truth about the billions of animals suffering on industrial farms and whether laws are being broken, jeopardizing food safety, workers’ rights, and environmental standards.

Undercover investigations have revealed severe animal abuse on factory farms — animals beaten, kicked, maimed and thrown. These investigations have also exposed standard industry practices like the confinement of pregnant and nursing pigs in crates too small for them to turn around, the removal of horns and tails from animals without anesthesia, and sick and downed cows dragged on the ground before they are slaughtered.

The Latest About Ag-Gag Laws


Court Bars Enforcement of Iowa’s Unconstitutional Ag-Gag Law While Lawsuit Proceeds

Public interest coalition cheers major victory in lawsuit to strike down law designed to quash undercover investigations

Lawsuit Challenges Constitutionality of Arkansas Ag-Gag Law

Advocates for animals, free speech and the environment take on secrecy at factory farms following victories in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Iowa

Coalition Files Lawsuit Challenging Iowa’s Second Unconstitutional Ag-Gag Law

Today, a coalition of public interest groups, led by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Iowa’s new Ag-Gag law — a law that is substantively similar to an Iowa law struck down by the same federal court.

Iowa Ag-Gag Law 2.0 is Unconstitutional

We are deeply disappointed that despite fierce opposition from the public, Iowa has enacted a new Ag-Gag law just months after a federal court struck down a similar Iowa law that criminalized investigations at factory farms, slaughterhouses, and puppy mill

See a timeline of key dates in the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s opposition to Ag-Gag laws.


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