Debate intensifies over animal undercover filming
David Pitt, the AP:
Animal welfare groups reacted with outrage Wednesday after the Iowa Legislature made the state the first to approve a bill making it a crime to surreptitiously get into a farming operation to record video of animal abuse. … The Iowa measure would establish a new penalty for lying on a job application to get access to a farm facility, making it a serious misdemeanor. A second conviction would be an aggravated misdemeanor.
Sen. Joe Seng, a Davenport Democrat and veterinarian who sponsored the bill, said the measure strikes a balance by discouraging animal activists from sneaking into livestock facilities but not prohibiting someone who legitimately works there from reporting animal abuse. … He said the livestock industry has legitimate concerns about unauthorized people infiltrating their facilities because they could track in disease or let mice or other unwanted vermin into farm buildings.
These kinds of exposés are generally how we find out about instances of horrific animal abuse, but on the other hand, it really is trespassing. Theoretically it should be possible for legitimate employees to report this kind of stuff too, but we’ll see how it goes.