Iowa’s New Ag-Gag Law Challenged in Court

Earlier this week, Des Moines Register writer Donnelle Eller reported that, “Iowa’s second attempt to make it a crime for animal welfare activists, journalists and others to go undercover at meatpacking plants and livestock facilities will face a legal challenge.

The ACLU of Iowa filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the state’s new ag-gag law, saying it’s unconstitutional, chills free speech and criminalizes a free press.”

The Register article explained that, “Iowa lawmakers and ag groups say the law is necessary to protect producers from groups that would use false pretense to harm farm operations.

“The new law is similar to legislation passed in 2012, which a federal judge ruled in January was unconstitutional. The state is appealing that decision.

“Both legal challenges will move through the courts separately, [Rita Bettis Austen, legal director of the ACLU of Iowa] said.”

Ms. Eller added that, “Iowa lawmakers say the new law has been more narrowly crafted to avoid legal challenges that befell the existing law.

“The new ‘agricultural production facility trespass’ law makes it illegal for someone to use deception to gain access to a private facility with the intent to cause physical or economic harm or ‘other injury’ to a facility’s operations, property or persons.”

This entry was posted in Agriculture Law. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.