"DES MOINES, Iowa — A federal judge has struck down the third attempt by the Iowa Legislature to stop animal welfare groups from secretly filming livestock abuse, finding once again that the law passed last year violates free speech rights in the U.S. Constitution.
The decision Monday rejected the law approved by Iowa lawmakers in April 2021 that makes it a crime to trespass on a property to place a camera to record or transmit images. The law, which had support from Republicans and some Democrats made the first offense punishable by up to two years in prison and subsequent offenses a felony.
The case is one of many so-called ag-gag laws that have surfaced in the U.S. in recent years that pit the right of farmers to protect their property from trespassers against animal welfare advocates. Farmers argue intruders could track in disease and want to unfairly portray their livestock practices, while animal welfare groups say producers don’t want the public to see how farm animals are treated."