Really Iowa??

This story is from Meating Place but I can’t get direct linking to work. Shame on you Iowa!


A proposed bill passed the Iowa State Legislature Tuesday intending to make it more difficult to record undercover video in livestock operations, bringing Iowa one step closer to being the first state to impose such measures.

If signed, the new law would make it a serious misdemeanor to falsify a job application in order to gain access to a farm facility; those found guilty would face up to a year in jail and up to $1,500 in fines.  Repeated offenses would be labeled an aggravated felony and carry jail time up to 2 years and fines up to $5,000.

In a version that passed the Iowa House of Representatives last year, the bill included language that barred undercover videotaping or recording altogether, but it was restructured to avoid the possibility of facing constitutional challenges, as the Supreme Court has previously ruled that such recordings constituted free speech.

The bill passed the Iowa Senate floor in the afternoon with a 40-10 vote.  Later in the day it reached the House, where it was quickly approved with a vote of 69-28.

Now all it needs is the signature of Governor Terry Branstad. While he has not indicated whether or not he’ll sign the bill, he did note he was impressed with the Legislature’s strong support.

Legislatures in several other states have considered similar measures, but for now, all eyes are on Iowa.  The state is the nation’s largest pork and egg producer, a status that makes it a target for groups seeking to expose farm animal mistreatment and what they consider to be indecencies in the process of livestock production.


The Legislature’s vote prompted responses from both animal activists and first amendment groups, calling it an “Ag-Gag” law written to discourage whistleblowers. The ASPCA pointed to a recently commissioned study showing that 64 percent of Americans oppose efforts to make illegal the undercover recording of livestock processes.

Additionally, a statement in late February signed by 27 national groups representing a wide range of interests, from animal welfare to workers’ rights, urges all state legislatures to oppose “Ag-Gag” legislation.

The group Mercy for Animals organized a protest in response for Thursday, March 1, at the Iowa State Capitol Building.