Earlier this week the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, along with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, and other organizations, filed a suit against the state’s “ag-gag” law.
While several states have similar laws on the books, Iowa’s strictly criminalizes the act of obtaining a job with a factory farm by presenting false information on an application. The industry pushed the law after many undercover investigations exposed horrific animal abuse at factory farms.
Recently, the state of Utah waived its right to appeal a federal district court ruling in July that found the state’s ag-gag law unconstitutional. This means the court’s decision stands and remains a victory in the fight to overturn these dangerous laws. Filed in 2013 by a group of organizations, including ALDF and PETA, the Utah lawsuit was the first of its kind.
In 2011 the factory farming industry started pushing hard for ag-gag laws designed to prevent animal protection groups from exposing abuse and other crimes at farm facilities in dozens of states. Most of the bills were defeated, but a handful of states passed them into law. While ag-gag laws in Idaho and Utah have been overturned, laws in Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and North Carolina remain on the books.
Meanwhile, undercover investigations by Mercy For Animals and other groups continue to result in groundbreaking corporate animal welfare policy changes, new and improved laws to protect farmed animals and consumers, felony and misdemeanor convictions against animal abusers, and the closure of especially corrupt animal facilities.
We are committed to providing this vital public service for as long as it is needed, and we are hopeful that the courts will overturn this dangerous law in Iowa. To learn more about MFA and how you can support our lifesaving work, click here.