February 7, 2012
The FARM FACILITY FRAUD ACT: The Iowa Senate opened debate on a measure seeking to create a crime of “agricultural production facility fraud” for anyone who obtains employment or access to a farm or food-processing operation under false pretenses with the intent to commit an act not authorized by the owner, such as secretly filming livestock-related activities in hopes of disparaging the industry’s image.
However, the measure was deferred to give time for senators who oppose or favor the changes to House File 589 to draft amendments to the controversial legislation.
In his opening remarks, Senator Joe Seng, D-Davenport, the bill’s floor manager, praised agriculture as the bright spot in Iowa’s economy and an industry worthy of protecting.
“There are groups with extreme agendas trying to distort America’s view of just common agricultural practices. I hope today that the Senate will stand up and support agriculture,” he said.
Meanwhile, groups opposed to the measure began to line up against Senate passage. Randall Wilson, legal director for the ACLU of Iowa, said the new approach to the “Ag Gag bill” is to now seek to “criminalize only the use of undercover informants and reporters to investigate the practices of animal and agricultural production facilities.”
He said the changes represented a “small improvement” over the House-passed version, but still targets investigative undercover reporting and whistle-blowing activities by inviting criminal prosecution at public expense against news organizations that “harbor” whistle-blowers and undercover informants by refusing to identify their sources.
Adam Mason, political director of the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund, urged the Iowa Senate to stand with everyday people and the environment over corporate agribusiness and factory farm polluters by dropping plans to debate the amended H.F. 589 measure this session.
*As taken from the “Capitol Digest”*
Read the The Des Moines Register’s article on the new bill HERE.
Read the The Iowa Gazette’s article on the new bill HERE
IOWA CITIZENS- Please find your representative and sign the Iowa state ASPCA’s petition to stop animal agriculture from attempting to criminalize the exposure of animal abuse at their advocacy center HERE!
Thank you for reading and standing against these unconstitutional bills.