Iowa sends volley across animal activists’ bow

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A new law in Iowa that prohibits fraudulent activity by animal-rights activists on livestock farms may serve as a template for other states.

According to Iowa State Senator Joe Seng, states such as Nebraska, Indiana, Ohio and Utah may be interested.

He said two years of work went into crafting the bill that was signed into law Friday by Gov. Terry Branstad. The bill achieved overwhelming bi-partisan support, passing the state senate by a 40-10 margin and the state house by a 69-28 margin.

The bill will stand constitutional muster if it goes before the Supreme Court, Seng told an Agri-Talk radio audience Monday morning. (Listen to audio clip above.)

Some have called it an “ag gag” bill, but Seng calls it “an agriculture protection bill.”

Mainly, it is designed to keep people from accessing agricultural production facilities under false pretenses. For instance, some people may lie on their job applications in order to get hired at a farm when their real intention is to put the farm in a negative light rather than do a job.  

Seng made these additional distinctions:

  • The bill does not prohibit people from photographing or videotaping animal abuse that may be occurring; it simply goes after the fraud aspect of people gaining entry to the farm under false pretenses. People who are on the farm under legitimate pretenses would not be affected.
  • By keeping people out who shouldn’t be there, the bill protects animals on the farms because (1) some of the people who come in to shoot undercover video may stage incidents of abuse and (2) they may knowingly or unknowingly spread infectious disease agents.

Seng is a veterinarian and former president of the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association.



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Ric Bonewitz    
Overland Park, KS  |  March, 06, 2012 at 08:50 AM

you Go, Hawkeyes!

Joe Hemauer    
WI  |  March, 06, 2012 at 08:57 AM

Thank you Iowa! Any effort to level the playing field is a huge step forward.

Steve    
iowa  |  March, 06, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Go Iowa! Protect animal abusers and sadists, and prosecute the poeple who bravely try and stop them! That's good thinking for all of us hog slappers!

bruce    
Indiana  |  March, 06, 2012 at 03:23 PM

Animal abusers and sadists.......wow. Not what I was considering myself while in the barn helping a heifer with a breach birth at 3 am. Maybe you will b happy when they are all roaming free and your Preus meets a 3500 lb bull in the road

Marie Durham    
Texas  |  March, 06, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Go Iowa!!! Oh that Texans would kick the "animal rights" organizations out, as these groups (H$U$, THLN, ASPCA, ALDF, et al) are trying their best to make animal industries politically incorrect, expensive, and bullseye targets for anyone who is fanatical about any animal use. The OK House just started the "correction" process by overwhelmingly passing HB2921, which backtracks the "animal rights" anti-dog-breeder bill that was passed a couple of years ago and which has been a disaster. Sure wish Texas would get develop some cajonese and do the same!

Bart Simpson    
Springfield Il  |  March, 07, 2012 at 02:28 PM

I'm done buying anything from Iowa, and will no longer spend a penny on commercial pork, eggs, or dairy. You can pass this kind of evil legislation, but you're not getting your hands on my money ever again. I'm buying from my local farmer that lets me see the animals, and visit any time I like.

Marie Durham    
Texas  |  March, 06, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Go Iowa!!! Oh that Texans would kick the "animal rights" organizations out, as these groups (H$U$, THLN, ASPCA, ALDF, et al) are trying their best to make animal industries politically incorrect, expensive, and bullseye targets for anyone who is fanatical about any animal use. The OK House just started the "correction" process by overwhelmingly passing HB2921, which backtracks the "animal rights" anti-dog-breeder bill that was passed a couple of years ago and which has been a disaster. Sure wish Texas would get develop some cajones and do the same!

Dan M.    
Davenport  |  March, 08, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Shame on Iowa. Our food system should work toward being more transparent, not more secretive. What are farmers trying to hide? I think we all know.

jesse    
ohio  |  March, 28, 2012 at 03:46 PM

And just what is it you think farmers are hiding there cheif ? The only thing that is hidden from the public is the actual agenda of these animal rights terror groups. There should be no tolerance for animal abuse in our country and unfortunately a couple sad isolated situations have been propagandized by these veggie munching "cameramen" for no other reason than to force their own warped point of view.


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