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Iowa House Pass “Ag Gag” Bill

03/28/2021

The Iowa House has passed Bill 775 making it illegal to enter private property without consent to obtain samples from the environment or livestock.  The Bill has been sent to the State Senate for their consideration, amendment and passage.

 

Federal courts have consistently ruled various iterations of all State “Ag Gag” laws, as unconstitutional based on free-speech considerations.  House File 775 replaces a previous law enacted over two years ago. This was the subject of a verdict against the State of Iowa with the Plaintiff animal rights group receiving legal fees.

 

To date no challenged Ag-Gag law has been supported by a Federal Court. It is about time legislatures stopped passing "feel-good" laws in response to farmers' associations and corporate lobbying. Lawmakers will either have to enact carefully crafted legislation or alternatively  persuade their constituents to become more transparent and media conscious taking the initiative to promote positive aspects of intensive livestock production. I frequently advise clients that if they would be concerned to come to work on a Monday morning to find a 60-Minutes Crew on their doorstep, then they need to do some serious introspection, evaluation and where necessary correction.