Iowa law protecting animal facilities from activists lying to gain access upheld by U.S. Court of Appeals

A recent federal court ruling will protect Iowa’s livestock industry from animal rights activists who lie to gain access to animal facilities.

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld a lower court decision on 2012’s so-called “ag-gag law” making it illegal to make false statements to gain employment at livestock farms and processing plants.

Iowa Cattlemen’s Association CEO Matt Deppe tells Brownfield having the 2012 law back in effect will help protect family farmers.

“The reasons for laws like that (is because of) activists utilizing the right time and the right place to put a few words or a video in the wrong context, and not allow that producer to speak up transparently on how they produce beef in their situation, or grains or what-have-you.”

Following the appeals court decision, several animal rights groups filed an injunction saying the new law violates the First Amendment by restricting undercover investigations at animal facilities.

There are several similar bills on the books in Iowa including legislation passed in 2019 making it a trespass crime to conduct undercover investigations at livestock farms.

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