Appeals judges partially block North Carolina law against undercover farm recordings

North Carolina’s 2015 law prohibiting activists from on-farm undercover activities has been partially blocked by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The three-judge panel was split two-to-one, giving a partial victory to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other animal rights activists who said the law violated their first amendment free speech rights. In the court’s summary, judges blocked the law from stopping “protected newsgathering activities PETA wishes to conduct.”  Judges say all other parts of the North Carolina law will be decided another day.

North Carolina and co-defendants the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and North Carolina Farm Bureau say they will appeal.  PETA and seven other groups say they are also appealing because they want the entire law struck down, not just the parts that stop their secret recordings on farms.

The judge panel did not distinguish between recording pictures or sound in private or public spaces on the farms.

There are several similar so-called “ag-gag” laws on the books in the U.S.  The National Agricultural Law Center says laws in Arkansas, Kansas, and Iowa have all been challenged in court, and the Kansas law is currently unenforceable.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Stay Up to Date

Subscribe for our newsletter today and receive relevant news straight to your inbox!

Brownfield Ag News