Idaho’s Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has signed a bill that criminalizes the act of secretly filming animal abuse at agricultural facilities. The move comes days after the state’s legislature approved the measure.
“Otter, a rancher, said the measure promoted by the dairy industry ‘is about agriculture producers being secure in their property and their livelihood,’” according to the AP.
Under the law signed today, anyone caught making secret video recordings of agricultural operations could face a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. The legislation refers to “the crime of interference with agricultural production.”
Idaho is one of at least 10 states that have taken up so-called “ag gag” legislation after “videos revealing apparent cruel treatment of farm animals went viral” in recent years, as Kathleen Masterson reported for NPR in 2012.
The Idaho legislation was introduced after “Los Angeles-based vegetarian and animal rights group Mercy for Animals showing workers at Bettencourt Dairy beating, stomping and sexually abusing cows in 2012,” the AP says.