The Iowa House of Representatives passed a bill that restricts drone surveillance of livestock facilities without permission from the property owner.
If House File 572 becomes law, remotely piloted aircraft couldn’t fly within 400 feet of homesteads or other areas where animals are kept. People caught in violation would face a simple misdemeanor for intruding on farm airspace. If the device happens to record images, sounds, or other data, that increases the penalty to a serious misdemeanor charge.
Agriculture Dot Com says the bill comes in response to animal welfare organizations documenting the conditions and treatment of animals at Iowa’s livestock and dog-breeding facilities. Iowa’s legislators have repeatedly passed “ag-gag” laws to attempt to criminally penalize activists who record and publish images and videos of livestock facilities. J
udges have ruled in the past that those laws are unconstitutional. Rep Derek Wulf says the bill “provides privacy rights for our farmers and ranchers.”