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Idaho's Governor Signs Tough “Ag Gag” Law

February 28, 2014
By: Jim Dickrell, Dairy Today Editor
 
 

Idaho Governor Chuck Otter signed into law today what may be the toughest ‘ag gag’ law in the nation to prevent animal activist groups from surreptitiously gaining access and filming farm operations.

Known as the Dairy Security Act, the bill covers wrongful entry and criminal trespass onto farms, theft of records, obtaining employment by wrongful means , taking recordings of workplace activities without the owner’s consent  and intentionally interfering with the farming operations.

If convicted, individuals face up to $5,000 in fines, a year in jail and financial judgments of up to twice the economic damage they caused, says Bob Naerebout, executive director of the Idaho Dairymen's Association. And, under Idaho "aiding and abetting" laws, organizations that employ such offenders can also be held liable.

The bill cleared the state House of Representatives earlier this week on a 56-14 vote. It was passed by the state Senate 25-10 earlier this month.

In signing the bill, Gov. Otter released the following statement: "Senate Bill 1337 is about agriculture producers being secure in their property and their livelihood. My signature today reflects my confidence in their desire to responsibly act in the best interest of the animals on which that livelihood depends. 

"No animal rights organization cares more or has more at stake than Idaho farmers and ranchers do in ensuring that their animals are healthy, well treated and productive."

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RELATED TOPICS: Dairy, Animal Welfare, Issues

 
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COMMENTS (4 Comments)

kbarniak - Pavilion, NY
Most people now believe that dairy farms have something to hide because of farmers support of these laws.
12:10 PM Mar 4th
 
kbarniak - Pavilion, NY
Most people now believe that dairy farms have something to hide because of farmers support of these laws.
12:10 PM Mar 4th
 
Cindy - Hutchinson, MN
You've got it right, Bert. Only, your condescending tone toward the urban population will also come back and bit you. These folks represent the majority of the population & the farmers ultimate customer. So-called ag-gag laws suggest a fear of transparency on the part of the ag industry. In this day, a desire to conceal - as these laws are perceived by much of the public - makes folks wonder what you have to hide. This shall lead to many to not trust anyone in ag when it comes time to choose to support tighter controls upon the industry as a whole. Treat the customer right, with dignity and respect. Or that customer will be more than willing to bite the hand that feeds it. They may need you to provide their food fiber & fuel, but you need them just as much. And if you want to be free to work as you would prefer, then never shy away from the public eye. Adoption of vegan or organic is not the issue, but the consumer driven introduction of greater regulation of the ag industry is a very likely outcome from such actions at the several state legislatures.
8:24 PM Mar 3rd
 
Bert - Milbank, SD
I understand preventing the bad publicity but this will literally come back and bite them. The audience for this material has most likely never been on a farm and it will upset concrete dwellers. This may push more people to become vegan or organic,
8:42 AM Mar 2nd
 



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