A look at ag-gag laws

By Leisa Boley-Hellwarth

The legislative branch of government writes the laws. The executive branch of government enforces the laws, and the judicial branch of government interprets the laws. This is known as our balance of power.

Just because a legislature passes a law doesn’t mean it will be found to be valid or enforceable if litigation ensues. An excellent example of this happened just several months ago in Iowa, a state synonymous with farming. In 2019, the Iowa Legislature sought to protect their agricultural interests from undercover reporting and surreptitious investigative journalistic methods so they amended their “ag-gag” law. These are statutes that are anti-whistle blower laws that apply within the agriculture industry. The term “ag-gag” typically refers to state laws in the U.S. that forbid undercover filming or photography of activity on farms without the consent of their owner — particularly targeting animal rights activists of animal rights abuses at these facilities.… Continue reading