This afternoon Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law another version of an ag gag law that chills free speech and criminalizes a free press.
Back in January, a federal court struck down Iowa’s Ag Gag law that passed in 2012. ACLU of Iowa Mark Stringer said, “This bill is just Ag Gag 2.0. The bill creates a new crime – called “agricultural production facility trespass” – that makes 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. But legitimate and newsworthy coverage of bad practices inside facilities inevitably damages a business’ reputation, which is just one way that this law tramples on protected speech.
Federal courts in other states have struck down similar ag gag laws, saying they also wrongly suppress free speech.
Violations, such as trespassing, are already covered by Iowa law. Ag Gag 2.0 once again tries to give special protection to agriculture over all other industries in our state, and over the free speech rights of those who would voice opposition to them. It would have a chilling effect on exposing problematic worker conditions, health and safety violations, and animal cruelty.”