Iowa Public Television


Ban on undercover videos at farms moves forward in Iowa senate

posted on April 1, 2011

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Senate Agriculture Committee has approved a bill aimed at preventing animal rights activists from getting hired on farms to secretly record what they believe is the mistreatment of livestock.

But the bill's manager, Democratic Sen. Tom Reilly of Oskaloosa, says the measure needs more work before it goes to the Senate floor for a vote.

The bill would make it illegal to secretly record and distribute videos and punish those who take jobs on farms only to gain access to record animals' treatment. Penalties include up to five years in prison and fines of up to $7,500.

Critics of the bill say it would have a chilling effect on free speech and its constitutionality could be challenged in court.

The Republican-led House approved the measure 65-27 on March 17.

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