A North Carolina federal judge has ruled that several provisions of North Carolina’s ag-gag law violate the First Amendment. The lawsuit was brought by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Center for Food Safety, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Farm Sanctuary, Food & Water Watch, Government Accountability Project, Farm Forward, and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
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North Carolina Ag-Gag Law Declared Unconstitutional
Animal Justice Files Complaint Alleging False Advertising by Duck Farming Company
Canadian organization Animal Justice has filed a complaint with the Competition Bureau of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, alleging that King Cole Ducks’ advertisement of its products as humane is misleading. The complaint follows a live rescue effort conducted at the company in February.
Undercover Investigator Publishes New Book
Rich Hardy, a former undercover investigator in for over two decades, has published a new book entitled Not As Nature Intended.
Preliminary Injunction Issued Against Iowa’s Second Ag-Gag Law
A federal judge in Iowa has issued a preliminary injunction against the state that prevents the enforcement of its latest ag gag law. The court also denied the Iowa’s request to dismiss the suit and stated that the animal protection plaintiffs (including the Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, and the Center for Food Safety) are likely to ultimately prevail in their case.
Kansas Ag-Gag Law Found Unconstitutional
The United States District Court for the District of Kansas ruled that the state’s ag-gag law violated the First Amendment by banning undercover investigations at factory farms and slaughterhouses. The law was the oldest of its kind in the country, dating to 1990. This is the fifth ag-gag law to be struck down in the country.
Alabama Legislation Would Protect Animal Enterprises and Criminalize “Frivolous” Reports of Animal Abuse
Alabama Senate Bill 196, if enacted, would give exclusive jurisdiction over all animal enterprises in the state to the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industry, ban any municipality or jurisdiction within the state from prohibiting (outright or via financial deterrents) animal enterprise, and criminalize the making of any report “clearly lacking any basis in fact or law” of animal cruelty against an animal enterprise. The bill would also discourage any entity holding an impounded animal from sterilizing the animal by making that entity liable for “the value of the animal and three times the projected revenue over the reasonably expected life” of the animal.
New Jersey Bill Would Criminalize Harassment of Farmers
New Jersey Assembly Bill 145 would prohibit the harassment of farmers for purposes of interfering with or impeding farming operations. The bill’s broad language would make it a crime to “harass, bother, or otherwise interfere with a farmer engaged in farming operations.” Violators would be subject to civil and criminal enforcement, including a $250-$500 penalty and imprisonment for up to thirty days. The bill also would create a private right of action by the farmer against the violator for punitive and special damages.
Kansas Seeks U.S. Supreme Court Review following Ag-Gag Ruling
The Attorney General of Kansas filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari following a ruling by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a lower court’s injunction against enforcement of the state’s “Ag-Gag” law on the basis that the statute is an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. The 1990 Kansas legislation was the first state Ag-Gag law enacted in the U.S. and aimed to curtail undercover investigations on factory farms by criminalizing photography and video without the express consent of the facility’s owner.
U.S. Supreme Court Declines Review of Decision Overturning Kansas Ag-Gag Law
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals’ permanent injunction preventing enforcement of the Kansas Ag-Gag law aimed at punishing undercover animal cruelty investigations on factory farms. The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the appeal by the state of Kansas is a victory for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Center for Food Safety, Shy 38, Inc., and Hope Sanctuary, which successfully argued that Kansas’ Ag-Gag law violated the First Amendment. The Kansas statute was the first state Ag-Gag law passed in 1990.
Alberta Passes Ag-Gag Bill
Alberta has passed a law, Bill 27, that expands current trespass law to further criminalize actions that seek to expose cruelty on factory farming operations. The law increases penalties for trespassing and makes being on a property illegal if permission to be there was obtained by false pretenses. Read more coverage of the law by Animal Justice here.