New “Ag-Gag” Law in Iowa on Hold, Federal Judge Says

Des Moines Register writer Donnelle Eller reported yesterday that, “A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Monday preventing Iowa officials from enforcing a new law that would make it a crime for whistleblowers or undercover animal welfare activists to take pictures or videos at meatpacking plants and livestock facilities.

“The injunction will remain in place while a lawsuit challenging the state’s so-called ‘ag-gag’ law proceeds.

“The court also denied the state’s attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed.”

In April, the America Civil Liberties Union of Iowa filed a lawsuit challenging the ag-gag law, arguing it’s unconstitutional, chills free speech and criminalizes a free press,” the Register article said.

Ms. Eller added that, “Iowa lawmakers and agriculture groups say the law is necessary to protect livestock producers from groups that would use false pretenses to harm farm operations.

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

“The legal challenges are moving through the courts separately.”

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