Iowa seeks to ban undercover recordings on farms or in labs

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Iowa seeks to ban undercover recordings on farms or in labs

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Mar 30, 2011
By dvm360.com staff
Des Moines, Iowa -- Iowa lawmakers are taking aim at animal activists who record alleged abuse within agricultural operations.

House File 589, introduced March 8, would ban audio or video recordings at any location where agricultural animals or livestock are kept, as well as locations maintained for animals used for educational or scientific purposes, without the consent of the owner. The ban would apply to any recordings made or distributed documenting activities at these types of locations.

The bill prohibits individuals from making false statements or lying on an application in order to gain access to such a facility as a visitor or employee.

Animal shelters, boarding kennels, commercial kennels, pet shops and pounds are not included in the ban. Government officers and veterinarians are exempt also.

A first offense under the new law would be categorized as a misdemeanor, but a second offense constitutes a felony, the legislation states.

The bill already was approved by agricultural committees in the House and Senate, and the full House approved the bill by a vote of 66-27 on March 17. The measure will move to the full Senate for consideration.