Court Partially Upholds Iowa’s “Ag-Gag” Law


A divided panel of judges partially upheld Iowa’s ‘ag-gag” law first put in place in 2012. The Des Moines Register says that decision came last week at the same time a coalition of animal rights groups filed another lawsuit challenging a follow-up law that passed in 2021. Iowa has now passed four state statutes that target animal rights activists who are working to publish videos and pictures from inside large livestock facilities, often after getting hired there as employees. The laws created criminal offenses for people who “obtain access to an agriculture production facility by false pretenses” or “makes a false statement or representation” in the course of an employment application if the person intends to commit any unauthorized actions like videotaping if they get hired. The 2012 law was the first to pass and was immediately challenged in court by several organizations, including Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Three more laws passed in Iowa after that, with the most recent one going into effect in April. The new lawsuit filed by many of the same organizations challenging the first three laws seeks to strike down the fourth law too.