Last Chance for Animals

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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, 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

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: Inactive
Last Action: April 17, 2013- Withdrawn from sponsor Summary: Any person who documents evidence of animal cruelty must provide a copy of the documentary evidence to law enforcement within 120 hours, or face a $250 fine.
Link to Bill: http://legiscan.com/CA/text/AB343/id/736875
Additional Info: According to to Patterson’s office, and the bill will not be amended at this time.

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Last Action: May 7, 2011- Withdrawn from consideration.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.
Link to Bill: http://legiscan.com/FL/bill/S1246/2011

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.
Link to Bill: http://legiscan.com/IL/bill/SB1532

INDIANA
Bill Name: 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.
Links to Bills: http://legiscan.com/IN/bill/SB0373 / http://legiscan.com/IN/bill/SB0391

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
Links to Bills: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=Senate&f=SF1118&ssn=0&y=2011 / https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=house&f=HF1369&ssn=0&y=2011

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: In committee and won’t be voted on for the 2013 legislative session
Last Action: March 13, 2013- Judiciary Committee hearing
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.
Link to Bill: http://legiscan.com/NE/bill/LB204

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Bill Name: HB 110
Introduced: January 3, 2013
Sponsor: Rep. Robert Haefner (R-37)
Status: Will be voted on in January 2014 in the House
Last Action: February 26, 2013- Retained in House Agriculture and Environment Committee
Summary: Requires person who record cruelty to livestock to report such cruelty and submit such recordings to a law enforcement agency.
Link to Bill: http://legiscan.com/NH/bill/HB110

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.
Link to Bill: http://legiscan.com/NM/bill/SB552/2013

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.
Link to Bill: http://legiscan.com/NY/bill/S05172/2011

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: In sub-committee
Last Action: May 13, 2013- Re-referred to Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate
Summary: An act to create the criminal offense of employment fraud, or to photograph, video or audio record without authorization. Penalities include a fine of $10,000
Link to Bill: http://legiscan.com/NC/research/S648/2013

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: February 12, 2013- Referred to Committee on Judiciary
Summary: Makes 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.
Link to Bill: http://legiscan.com/PA/text/HB683/id/733505
Additional Info: May 1, 2013- Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-36) plans to re-introduce SB 1596 of 2011-2012 that would “make it a crime to take pictures or videos on farms without the owner’s consent unless these images are shared exclusively with the proper authorities to investigate the claims of animal abuse.”

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: May be looked over in January 2013 for amendments.
Last Action: May 13, 2013- Vetoed by Gov. Bill Haslam
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.
Links to Bills: http://legiscan.com/TN/bill/SB1248/2013 (Senate Bill) http://legiscan.com/TN/bill/HB1191/2013 (House Bill)

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: In committee to be discussed during next year’s legislative session.
Last Action: March 19, 2013- Referred to Committee on Agriculture
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.”
Link to Bill: http://legiscan.com/VT/bill/S0162/2013

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.
Link to Bill: http://legiscan.com/WY/bill/HB0126/2013

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: “An act relating to offenses involving agricultural operations, and providing penalties and remedies.” (HF 589)
Status: March 2, 2012 - Signed into law by Gov. Terry Branstad
Summary: Prohibits anyone from producing, possessing or distributing a record of a “visual or audio experience occurring at an animal facility.”

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: “Modifies provision relating to animals and agriculture” (SB 631)
Status: July 9, 2012 - Signed into law by Gov. Jay Nixon
Summary: A person commits the crime of agricultural production facility fraud if he or she willfully obtains access to an agricultural production facility by false pretenses or knowingly makes a false statement or misrepresentation as part of an application for employment with the intent to commit an act not authorized by the owner.

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.

 

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