Idaho's Ag-gag bill overturned


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Jan 24, 2016
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Ag-Gag FAIL: Idaho Ordered to Pay $250 Thousand in Legal Fees

In 2012, Mercy For Animals released findings of an undercover investigation at Bettencourt Dairies in Hansen, Idaho, where workers were exposed stomping, beating, dragging, and otherwise torturing the cows.

In response to the investigation, the Idaho Dairymen’s Association drafted and sponsored an ag-gag bill, which was passed by the Idaho legislature and signed by Governor Otter in February 2014. This law created a new crime: “interference with agricultural production.” It essentially criminalized undercover investigations on factory farms.

A federal judge overturned this dangerous and un-American law last August for violating the First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. U.S. district judge B. Lynn Winmill stated in his ruling:
The effect of the statute will be to suppress speech by undercover investigators and whistleblowers concerning topics of great public importance: the safety of the public food supply, the safety of agricultural workers, the treatment and health of farm animals, and the impact of business activities on the environment.