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Wed Jan 9, 2019, 07:21 PM

Federal judge strikes down Iowa law on undercover ag workers

Source: Associated Press

Federal judge strikes down Iowa law on undercover ag workers

By DAVID PITT
January 9, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday struck down an Iowa law that made it illegal to get a job at a livestock farm to conduct an animal cruelty undercover investigation, finding the law violated the constitutional right to free speech.

U.S. District Court Judge James Gritzner sided with opponents of the 2012 law that was intended to stop organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals from doing animal abuse investigations at farms and puppy mills. Iowa lawmakers approved the measure, which threatened up to a year in jail to those who conducted an undercover operation, after several high-profile cases in which animal welfare advocates recorded questionable animal treatment and then publicized the images through the media.

Rita Bettis Austen, legal director for the ACLU of Iowa, called the ruling “an important victory for free speech” and argued the so-called ag-gag law was an example of government using its power to protect those with power. The ACLU joined with animal welfare, food safety and open government advocates in the lawsuit, filed in 2017 in U.S. District Court in Des Moines.

“Ag gag clearly is a violation of Iowans’ First Amendment rights to free speech,” Bettis said in a statement. “It has effectively silenced advocates and ensured that animal cruelty, unsafe food safety practices, environmental hazards, and inhumane working conditions go unreported for years.”

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Read more: https://apnews.com/baf3b2fa1dae4f518e8e79df32a4bec5

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Reply Federal judge strikes down Iowa law on undercover ag workers (Original post)
Eugene Jan 2019 OP
Beringia Jan 2019 #1

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2019, 09:31 PM

1. Great news

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