Indiana Farm Trespassing Bill Clears Committee

January 21, 2014 07:31 AM

By SUMMER BALLENTINE, Associated Press

Changes to a bill aimed at cracking down on farm trespassers in Indiana might appease opponents, who for months criticized it as punishment for whistleblowers.

The Senate criminal law committee approved an amended version of the bill Tuesday. A version from last session banned secret videotaping or photography at farms, but the latest rewrite only increases protection against trespassers who cause physical damage to farm property.

Previous versions would have criminalized any act causing monetary loss.

The Humane Society of the United States is holding back judgment until it can vet the new language. Still, public policy director Matthew Dominguez said the seeming concern for public safety, animal welfare and environmental issues is "welcome."

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