Ag-Gag Unconstitutional In Idaho!
As reported by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Ag-Gag laws in Idaho have been struck down because they are unconstitutional. Ag-Gag laws are used in some states to criminalize the documentation and reporting of crimes, abuses, and health threats committed by animal agriculture. In other words, Ag-Gag says that if you see a crime committed by an animal agriculture business, you can't tell anyone about it, or you will be labelled a criminal or terrorist. The U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho has now ruled that the Ag-Gag law is unconstitutional.
But it is not over, more work needs to be done.
From the article:
The statute criminalizes undercover investigations that document animal welfare, worker safety, and food safety violations at an “agricultural production facility,” thus “gagging” speech that is critical of industrial agriculture, including speech that advances significant public interests in protecting Idahoans’ safety. Under this law, journalists, workers, activists, and members of the public can be convicted for documenting animal cruelty or life-threatening safety violations. The court ruled that this statute violates the First Amendment by suppressing speech that criticizes factory farms and was motivated by unconstitutional animus against animal advocates—which is a violation of the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Ag-Gag laws are notoriously unsupported by the public. Nationwide thirty-two similar Ag-Gag measures have failed. Currently, seven states have Ag-Gag laws on the books. This Idaho decision is just the first step in defeating similar Ag-Gag laws across the country.