A federal judge struck down Iowa’s “Ag-Gag Law.” The law prevents journalists and advocacy groups from taking part in undercover investigations of farms, slaughterhouses, and other agricultural facilities. The law, passed in 2012, is called the Agricultural Production Facility Fraud Law. It was widely supported by agriculture groups but was also challenged by groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The Des Moines Register said Senior Judge James Gritzner said it’s his judgment that the law “violates the First Amendment.” Proponents say the law prevents what they call “subversive acts.”
Opponents said the law made it much more difficult for employees to report unsafe working conditions or other challenges and dangers within the facilities. The Animal Legal Defense Fund said in a statement that “Ag-Gag Laws are an attempt by animal exploitation industries to hide some of the worst forms of animal abuse within the United States. This victory makes it clear that the government cannot protect these industries at the expense of our constitutional rights.”
The state has not yet ruled out appealing the decision.
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