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UPDATE

Governor Pat McCrory's heroic veto of HB 405 has been OVERTURNED by North Carolina’s state house and senate. This freedom-crushing ag-gag bill is now in effect, which means whistleblowers exposing cruelty to humans and other animals in the world’s most abusive industries will be punished for revealing the truth. This is a major blow to not only countless animals in factory farms, but to reporters and investigative animal rights groups like Last Chance for Animals.

Rest assured: LCA will continue our fight against these dangerous bills.

 

States of Disgrace

The recent surge of Ag Gag bills is in response to a series of highly publicized undercover investigations by animal activists and journalists. These investigations have led to criminal convictions, lawsuits, and major food recalls, and has allowed consumers to see the hidden practices of agribusiness. Because of the economic damages these investigations have caused, the agriculture lobby has relentlessly been pushing ag gag bills through state legislatures. See where your state stands below and then go to What You Can Do to see how you can stop these bills from passing.

 

States with Ag Gag Bills

 

ARKANSAS

  • Bill Name: SB 13, "An Act Providing Legal Protection to Animal Owners and Their Animals; To Ensure That Only Law Enforcement Agencies Investigate Charges of Animal Cruelty; and For Other Purposes"
  • Introduced: 01/14/2013
  • Sponsors: Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R-6)
  • Status: 04/12/2013 Passed with ag-gag language removed from the final bill.
  • Summary: Creates an offense for individuals other than law enforcement officers to knowingly conduct an investigation, including collection of evidence into alleged claims of criminal conduct involving an animal.
  • Click here to read the bill
  • Bill Name: SB 14, "An Act Creating The Offense Of Interference With A Livestock Or Poultry Operation; And For Other Purposes"
  • Introduced: 01/14/2013
  • Sponsors: Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R-6)
  • Status: 05/17/2013 Died in Senate Committee on Judiciary
  • Summary: Creates a misdemeanor offense for interference with a livestock or poultry operation. A person commits interference with a livestock or poultry operation if the person: knowing records an image or sound from  a livestock or poultry operation by leaving a recording device on the private property of the livestock or poultry operation, by gaining employment at a livestock or poultry operation, or by committing criminal trespass; obtains access to a livestock or poultry operation under false pretenses; or knowingly makes a false statement or representation as part of an application or agreement to be employed at a livestock or poultry operation with the purpose to commit an unauthorized act at the livestock or poultry operation.
  • Click here to read the bill
  • Bill Name: HB 1774, "An Act Concerning The Recording Of A Conversation; And For Other Purposes"
  • Introduced: 03/09/2015
  • Sponsors: Rep. Mark Lowery (R-39)
  • Status: 03/09/2015 referred to the House Judiciary Committee
  • Summary: Prohibits the interception or recording of a conversation if the person is in an employment relationship with another party to the communication unless all parties have given prior consent to the interception and recording.
  • Click here to read the bill

 

CALIFORNIA

  • Bill Name: AB 343, Animal Ecological Terrorism Act
  • Introduced: February 13, 2013
  • Sponsor: Assembly member Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) California Cattlemen’s Association
  • Status: 01/31/2014: Died pursuant to Art. IV, Sec. 10(c) of the Constitution. 
  • Click here to read the bill

 

COLORADO

  • Bill Name: SB 42, "A Bill For An Act Concerning Mandatory Reports of Animal Abuse"
  • Introduced: 01/07/2015
  • Sponsors: Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg (R-1); Rep. Jon Becker J. (R-65)
  • Status: Postponed indefinitely 02/09/2015
  • Summary: Requires mandatory reporting of animal abandonment, mistreatment or neglect within 48 hours.
  • Click here to read the bill

 

FLORIDA

  • Bill Name: SB 1246
  • Introduced: February 21, 2011
  • Sponsors: Sen. Jim Norman (R-Tampa)
  • Status: Died in Messages
  • Last Action: May 7, 2011- Withdrawn from consideration.
  • Summary: Prohibits a person from entering onto a farm and making any audio record, photograph, or video record at the farm without owner’s written consent.
  • Click here to read the bill

 

ILLINOIS

  • Bill Name: SB 1532 (Section 19), Amendment to Humane Care for Animals Act
  • Introduced: February 13, 2013
  • Sponsor: Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Champaign)
  • Status: In House Rules Committee
  • Last Action: May 10, 2013- Re-referred to House Rules Committee
  • Summary: If a complaint that is made against an animal enterprise or employee is knowingly false and made with the intent to harass the person or entity, the Department may waive confidentiality of the complaint and may refer the matter to the State’s Attorney for consideration of criminal charges against the complainant.
  • Cick here to read the bill

 

INDIANA

  • Bill Names: SB 373 & SB 391
  • Introduced: January 8, 2013
  • Sponsors: SB 373 Sen. Travis Holdman (R-19) & Sen. Brent Steele (R-44) SB 391 Sen. Carlin Yoder (R-12)
  • Status: SB 373- Sen. Holden will re-introduce a similar bill in the next legislative session. SB 391- Died in committee.
  • Last Action: SB 373- February 26, 2013- Passed the Senate April 15, 2013- Passed the House, returned to Senate with amendments; April 26, 2013- Dissent withdrawn SB 391- January 10, 2013- Referred to Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources Summary: SB 373- Class A misdemeanor for a person to submit an application to a prospective employer and makes a false statement or commits application fraud. Provides that a person making a false or misleading written statement with the intent to obtain employment is excluded from the deception statute; enter an agricultural facility without permission. SB 391- Class A misdemeanor for a person to enter an agricultural facility without permission; and take a photograph or video recording of the property, structures on the property, or the agricultural operations being conducted on the property without permission. Requires the board of animal health to establish a registry of persons convicted of crimes concerning agricultural operations and livestock.
  • Click here to read SB 373; Click here to read SB 391

 

MINNESOTA

  • Bill Name: Companion Bills HF 1369 & SF 1118
  • Introduced: April 4, 2011
  • Sponsors: HF 1369- Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-22B) SF 1118- Sen. Doug Magnus (R-22)
  • Status: No hearings; did not advance. (A similar bill could be introduced in the 2013-14 legislative session.)
  • Summary: Prohibits producing and/or distributing a record which produces an image or sound occurring at the animal facility, lab or puppy mill; employment at an animal facility, lab or puppy mill under false pretenses and crop operation tampering and interference
  • Click here to read HF 1369; Click here to read SF 1118 

 

MISSOURI

  • Bill Name: HB 479, Agricultural Data Collection
  • Introduced: January 13, 2015
  • Sponsors: HB 479 - Rep. Jay Houghton (R-043)
  • Status: Second Read; Referred to Senate Agriculture, Food Production, and Outdoor Resources.
  • Summary: Prohibits release of any data collected for the purpose of animal health or environmental protection.
  • Click here to read the bill

 

MONTANA

  • Bill Name: SB 285, Generally revise laws relating to reporting of animal cruelty and abuse
  • Introduced: 01/07/2015
  • Sponsors: Sen. Frederick Moore (R-19)
  • Status: In committee
  • Last Action: 20/17/2015 Senate Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Committee hearing
  • Summary: Requires mandatory reporting of animal cruelty within 24 hours.
  • Click here to read the bill

 

NEBRASKA

  • Bill Name: LB 204, “Change and provide criminal sanctions regarding animals and animal facilities”
  • Introduced: January 15, 2013 Sponsors: Sen. Tyson Larson (R-40)
  • Status: Indefinitely postponed 04/17/2014
  • Last Action: Jan 8, 2014 Title printed. Carryover bill to the One Hundred Third Legislature, Second Session, 2014.  
  • Summary: Mandatory reporting of animal cruelty to authorities within 24 hours, and all original documentation turned over to authorities; failure to do so results in a Class III misdemeanor. It is unlawful for potential employees to make a false statement or representation as part of an application or agreement at an animal facility, with punishment ranging from a Class I misdemeanor to a Class III Felony.
  • Click here to read the bill

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

  • Bill Name: HB 110
  • Introduced: January 3, 2013
  • Sponsor: Rep. Robert Haefner (R-37)
  • Status: Died on table 9/17/2014
  • Summary: Requires person who record cruelty to livestock to report such cruelty and submit such recordings to a law enforcement agency.
  • Click here to read the bill

 

NEW MEXICO

  • Bill Name: SB 552, Livestock Operation Interference Act
  • Introduced: February 14, 2013 Sponsor: Sen. Cliff R. Pirtle (R-32)
  • Status: Died in committee Last Action: March 2013- Sent to Senate Conservation Committee & Judiciary Committee
  • Summary: Prohibits recording image or sound from an agricultural operation without consent and obtaining access to that operation under false pretenses. Failure to comply results in a misdemeanor charge.
  • Click here to read the bill

 

NEW YORK

  • Bill Name: S.5172, “Unlawful tampering of farm animals.”
  • Introduced: May 3, 2011 Sponsor: Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-48)
  • Status: Died in committee Last Action: January 4, 2012- Referred to Senate Agriculture Committee
  • Summary: Any unlawful tampering or interference with a farm animal or farm is a misdemeanor, punishable of up to one year imprisonment or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Click here to read the bill

 

NORTH CAROLINA

  • Bill Name: SB 648, NC Commerce Protection Act of 2013
  • Introduced: April 4, 2013
  • Sponsors: Sen. Brent Jackson (R-Sampson) Sen. Wesley Meredith (R-19) Sen. Jim Davis (R-50) Sen. Jerry W. Tillman (R-29)
  • Status: Passed with ag-gag language removed from the final bill. 
  • Summary: An act to create the criminal offense of employment fraud, or to photograph, video or audio record without authorization. Penalties include a fine of $10,000
  • Click here to read the bill

 

  • Bill Name: HB 405 and Companion Bill SB 433
  • Introduced: March 31, 2015
  • Sponsors: Rep. John Szoka (R-45) Rep. Chris Whitmire (R-113) Rep. Jonathan Jordan (R-93) Rep. Rodney Moore (D-99) Rep. Jimmy Dixon (R-4) Rep. John Faircloth (R-61) Rep. Bert Jones (R-65) Rep. Susan Martin (R-8) Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-117) Rep. Allen McNeill (R-78) Rep. Dennis Riddell (R-64) Rep. Stephen M. Ross (R-63) Rep. Brad Salmon (D-51) Rep. Mitchell S. Setzer (R-89) Rep. Phil Shepard (R-15) Rep. Michael Speciale (R-3) Rep. Brian Turner (D-116) Rep. Ken Waddell (D-46)
  • Status: Vetoed by Governor McCrory on May 29, 2015
  • UPDATE:  Passed. McCrory's Veto Overturned on June 3, 2015
  • Summary: Prohibits anyone from gaining access to a non-public area of their employer's property for the purpose of making unauthorized recordings (including images or sounds) or capturing data or other material.  The bill creates a civil cause of action, allowing an employer to sue for any damages.
  • Click Here to read HB 405; Click here to read SB 433

 

PENNSYLVANIA

  • Bill Name: HB 683, An Act amending Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Statutes
  • Introduced: February 12, 2013
  • Sponsor: Rep. Gary Haluska (D-73)
  • Status: Died
  • Summary: Would have made it a felony to interfere with agricultural operations, including a prohibition against recording image or sound from an agricultural operation without the consent and obtaining access under false pretenses.
  • Click here to read the bill

 

TENNESSEE

  • Bill Name: Companion Bills SB 1248 & HB 1191, An Act to Amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39 and Title 44, relative to animals
  • Introduced: February 13, 2013
  • Sponsors: Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-26) Rep. Andy Holt (R-76)
  • Status: HB 1248: 2013-05-13 Vetoed by Gov. Bill Haslam; HB 1191: died in chamber
  • Summary: Requires a person who records cruelty to animals as committed against livestock to report such violation and submit any unedited photographs or video recordings to law enforcement authorities within 24 hours of the photograph's or recording’s creation. 
  • Click here to read SB 1248; Click here to read HB 1191

 

VERMONT

  • Bill Name: S.162, “An Act Relating to Agricultural Facility Fraud”
  • Introduced: March 18, 2013
  • Sponsors: Sen. Robert Starr (D-Essex-Orleans) Sen. Norman McAllister (R-Franklin) Sen. John Rodgers (D-Essex-Orleans) Sen. Richard Westman (R-Lamoille)
  • Status: Died in committee
  • Summary: Specifies a fine of up to $1,000 for anyone who “makes a knowingly false statement or representation as part of an application to be employed at an agricultural facility.”
  • Click here to read the bill

 

WASHINGTON

  • Bill Name: HB 1104, "An Act Relating to creating the crime of interference with agricultural production"
  • Introduced: 01/09/2015
  • Sponsors: Rep. Joe Schmick (R-9), Rep. Larry Haler (R-8), Rep. June Robinson (D-38), Rep. Vincent Buys (R-42)
  • Status: In committee
  • Last Action: 01/20/2015 Public hearing in the House Committee on Public Safety
  • Summary: Creates the crime of  Interference with Agricultural Production as a gross misdemeanor offense with maximum penalties of one year in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both.
  • Click here to read the bill

 

WYOMING

  • Bill Name: HB 126, “Establishing the offense or interference with an agricultural operation,” “Requiring reporting of cruelty to livestock.”
  • Introduced: January 11, 2013 Sponsors: Rep. Sue Wallis (R-52) Sen. Ogden Driskill (R-1)
  • Status: Died in committee and will not be re-introduced.
  • Last Action: February 26, 2013- Senate Committee returned bill pursuant to SR 5-4
  • Summary: Makes it a crime to knowingly or intentionally record images or sounds of an agricultural operation with concealed devices without the owner’s consent. Individuals who report abuse within 48 hours is immune from civil liability, but criminal penalties can include six months in jail and a $750 fine.
  • Click here to read the bill 

 

States with Ag Gag Laws

IDAHO

  • Statute: S1337 
  • Status:  February 28, 2014 -  Signed into law by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter
  • Summary: Adds to an existing law to provide for the crime of interference with agricultural production.

IOWA

  • Statute: Iowa Code § 717A.1 et seq.: "An Act Relating To An Offense Involving Agricultural Operations, And Providing Penalties And Remedies" HF 589
  • Status: March 2, 2012 - Signed into law by Gov. Terry Branstad
  • Summary: A person commits the crime of agricultural production facility fraud if the person willfully: obtains access to an agricultural facility by false pretenses; or makes a false statement or representation as part of an application or agreement to be employed at an agricultural production facility with an intent to commit an act not authorized by the owner. 

KANSAS

  • Statute: Farm Animal and Field Crop Research Facilities Act
  • Status: 1990 - Signed into law by Gov. Mike Hayden
  • Summary: Prohibits unauthorized entry into an animal facility with the intent to “damage the enterprise”; prohibits taking photos or videos inside the facility, or damage any field crop at the facility. Failure to comply results in a fine of $1,000-$25,000 and is a class A nonperson misdemeanor, class B nonperson misdemeanor or a nonperson felony.

MISSOURI

  • Statute: R.S.Mo. § 578.013 "Duty to submit videotape evidence of animal abuse or neglect" (SB 631)
  • Status: July 9, 2012 - Signed into law by Gov. Jay Nixon
  • Summary: Mandates that recordings depicting farm animal abuse or neglect must be submitted to law enforcement within twenty-four hours of the recording. 

MONTANA

  • Statute: Farm Animal and Research Facility Protection Act
  • Status: 1991- Signed into law
  • Summary: Prohibits the unauthorized entering into an animal facility to take pictures by photograph, video camera, or other means with intent to commit criminal defamation.

NORTH DAKOTA

  • Statute: Animal Research Facility Damage Act
  • Status: 1991- Signed into law
  • Summary: Class B misdemeanor to enter an animal facility and use or attempt to use a camera, video recorder, or any other video or audio recording device. Violators face jail term of 30 days.

UTAH

  • Statute: Agricultural Operation Interference (HB 187)
  • Status: March 20, 2013 - Signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert
  • Summary: Provides that a person is guilty of agricultural operation interference if the person records an image of, or sound from, an agricultural operation and establishes penalties.

WYOMING

  • Statute: "An Act creating the crimes of trespassing to unlawfully collect resource data and unlawful collection of resource data" (S.F. 12)
  • Status: 03/10/2015 - Signed into law by Governor Mead
  • Summary: Creates an offense to collect "resource data", including photos and videos, on private land without express permission to collect the specified and prohibits the evidence to be used as evidence in criminal proceedings. 

 

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