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Iowa “Ag Gag” law puts animal rights groups against farmers March 19, 2012

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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Iowa has become the first state to make it a crime for people to misrepresent themselves to get access to farms with the hopes of filming animal abuse. The “Ag Gag” bill is the first of its kind in the country, and designed to combat animal rights groups that conduct undercover investigations and hurt the reputations of farmers. Lying on applications for farm jobs is now punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,500. Yet legal experts are claiming that the law is clearly unfair, considering that it protects a single industry from whistle blowers and shields them from any punishment for misconduct.

For more on the controversial new law, see the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  How do investigative reports by organizations like PETA hurt major companies in the agriculture business?

2.  Should such groups be legally protected when their members lie on applications in order to get access to farms? Why, or why not?

3.  How might the “Ag Gag” law infringe on First Amendment rights?

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