In this file:
· Iowa Lawmakers Send New Ag-Gag Bill to Governor
· A New Iowa Law Would Criminalize Undercover Investigations at Farms (Again)
Iowa Lawmakers Send New Ag-Gag Bill to Governor
Janelle Tucker, KMCH Iowa
March 13, 2019
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Legislature has sent to the governor a bill designed to prosecute people who get hired at a farm or puppy mill in order to record animal living conditions.
The bill approved by both the Senate and House on Tuesday would create a trespass charge for undercover investigators at such operations. The bill, approved by the Senate 41-8 and the House 65-32, now goes to Gov. Kim Reynolds. A spokesman says she wants to see its final form but intends to sign it.
The bill approval comes two months after a federal judge struck down an ag-gag law passed in 2012 because the court concluded it violated free-speech rights of undercover investigators. That ruling is on appeal.
The 2012 law was approved following high-profile undercover investigations by animal welfare groups who videotaped practices they claimed were abusive toward animals and then publicized the images.
Republican Sen. Ken Rozenboom says the new bill...
A New Iowa Law Would Criminalize Undercover Investigations at Farms (Again)
The state's pork industry hasn't given up yet.
Emily Moon, Pacific Standard
Mar 13, 2019
Two months ago, animal welfare groups hailed the end of Iowa's ag-gag law, which made it illegal to record inside agricultural operations like slaughterhouses and livestock confinements without the owner's permission. But they may have celebrated too soon: The state's House and Senate passed a new ag-gag bill on Tuesday, which would again criminalize the kind of undercover investigations that have exposed Midwestern farmers for animal cruelty.
Although some Iowan Democrats objected to the bill, it had broad support among Republicans, who emphasize the need to protect the state's livestock industry, especially amid growing biosecurity concerns. Iowa produces the most pork of any state, with one-third of the nation's pigs, and exports totaling more than $1.1 billion in 2017. Farmers have historically viewed undercover activists as a threat (perhaps rightly so; six workers at an Iowan farm were charged with criminal livestock neglect after a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals investigation in 2008).
Meanwhile, critics argue these bills scare off whistleblowers who shed light on abuses—and they've been ruled unconstitutional in several states. "This bill gives the middle finger to free speech, consumer protection, food safety, and animal welfare," Democratic state Representative Liz Bennett said in an interview with the Des Moines Register. As Pacific Standard has reported: