Federal Judge Strikes Down Iowa’s Shameful ‘Ag-Gag’ Rule
On Wednesday, a federal judge knocked down Iowa’s notorious ag-gag law as unconstitutional, according to Courthouse News Service. The law, put in place in 2012 by the Iowa legislature with the support of the agriculture industry, prevents animal rights activists and undercover journalists from reporting on animal abuse at livestock farms. Finally, U.S. District Judge James Gritzner in Des Moinse has decided the law violates the First Amendment.
“The law has the effect of criminalizing undercover investigations of certain agricultural facilities,” Gritzner wrote in his decision.
Unsurprisingly, the investigations by activists and journalists covered by the law have exposed truly horrific treatment of animals by the industry.
“For example, in 2011, an undercover investigation at Iowa Select Farms produced reports of workers hurling small piglets onto a concrete floor,” Gritzner wrote in his decision. “Another investigation at Iowa’s Sparboe Farms, documented reported mistreatment of hens and chicks. And yet another, conducted by PETA, exposed workers at a Hormel Foods supplier in Iowa ‘beating pigs with metal rods,’ ‘sticking clothespins into pigs’ eyes and faces, and a supervisor kicking a young pig in the face, abdomen, and genitals to make her move while telling the investigator, ‘You gotta beat on the bitch. Make her cry.’” READ MORE>>