A coalition of Animal rights groups on Monday filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Iowa’s new “Ag-Gag” Law that makes it a trespass crime to conduct undercover investigations at livestock farms.
The lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Des Moines and claims that the new law violates constitutional free speech and due process rights and is unconstitutionally vague and broad.
The law creates a new crime making it illegal for a person to gain access to an agricultural production facility through deception if the person intends to cause an “injury” to the business interest of the facility. The law applies to to factory farms, slaughterhouses, and puppy mills.
Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells says that factory farms want to hide their abuses but federal courts have consistently ruled that Ag-Gag laws violate our constitutional rights.
Ag-Gag laws are a threat to food safety, animal protection, the environment and workers’ rights. Iowa’s first Ag-Gag law violated our First Amendment rights, and we expect the court to come to the same conclusion this time.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Iowa Citizens For Community Improvement, Bailing Out Benji, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Center for Food Safety filed the lawsuit.