"Ag-gag" or anti-whistleblower bills are appearing in state legislatures across the country. While crafted to appear reasonable, these measures are designed to prevent the exposure of troubling practices at agricultural facilities.
Where does your state stand on ag-gag?
Over the past several years we’ve defeated ag-gag bills in more than 20 states. Despite our best efforts, a few states have enacted anti-whistleblower bills into law. A handful of other states have had ag-gag-type laws since the 1990s. Take a look below to see if your state has introduced an ag-gag bill, and take action!
Arizona – Introduced H.B. 2587 in 2014. Failed.
Arkansas – Introduced legislation in 2013. Failed.
California – Introduced legislation in 2013. Failed.
Colorado – Introduced S. 42 in 2015 to require reporting of cruelty within 48 hours. This "quick-reporting" bill would prevent the collection of adequate evidence to show patterns of abuse, neglect or abandonment, potentially hindering prosecution of abusers. Bill tabled in February by its sponsor.
Florida – Introduced legislation in 2012. Failed.
Idaho – Passed an ag-gag law in 2014, which in August 2015 was struck down by a federal court as being unconstitutional.
Illinois – Introduced legislation in 2012. Failed.
Indiana – Introduced legislation in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Bills failed in 2012 and 2013. Introduced S.B. 101 in 2014 which was later stripped of ag-gag-type provisions.
Iowa – Passed an ag-gag law in March 2012 that criminalizes providing false information on an employment application with the intent to record images.
Kansas – Passed the Farm Animal and Field Crop and Research Facilities Protection Act in 1990. It criminalizes “enter(ing) an animal facility to take pictures by photograph, video camera or by any other means” with the intent of causing harm to the enterprise.
Kentucky – Added an ag-gag provision to a pro-animal bill in 2014. Bill died.
Minnesota – Introduced legislation in 2011 and 2012. Failed.
Missouri – Passed an ag-gag law in July 2012. Mandates that evidence of animal abuse must be turned over to law enforcement within 24 hours, preventing the collection of adequate evidence to show patterns of abuse, neglect or abandonment, and potentially hindering prosecution of abusers.
Montana – Passed an ag-gag law in 1991. It criminalizes “entering an animal facility with the intent to commit a prohibited act, entering an animal facility to take pictures by photograph, video camera, or other means with the intent to commit criminal defamation, and entering an animal facility if the person knows entry is forbidden.” Introduced a quick-reporting bill in 2015 "[p]roviding that a person who knowingly fails to report evidence of cruelty to animals at an animal facility within 24 hours commits the offense of cruelty to animals." The ASPCA opposes quick-reporting bills. Bill died.
Nebraska – Introduced legislation in 2012 and 2013. Failed.
New Hampshire – Introduced legislation in 2013. Failed. Reintroduced H.B. 110 in 2014. Bill died.
New Mexico – Introduced legislation in 2013, which failed. Introduced a quick-reporting bill in 2015 to make failure to turn over evidence of animal abuse within 24 hours of collection a misdemeanor.
New York – Introduced legislation in 2011 and 2012. Failed.
North Carolina – Ag-gag bill H.B. 405 was vetoed by Governor McCroy, but the NC House and Senate overturned the veto. This law goes into effect on January 1, 2016. The law prohibits anyone from gaining access to the non-public area of their employer's property for the purpose of making secret recordings or removing data or other material. The law will create a civil cause of action, allowing a business to sue for damages. NC also introduced ag-gag bills that were defeated in 2013 and 2014.
North Dakota – Passed the Animal Research Facility Damage Act, which makes it a class B misdemeanor to “[enter] an animal facility and using or attempting to use a camera, video recorder, or any other video or audio recording equipment.”
Pennsylvania – Introduced legislation in 2013. Failed.
Tennessee – Introduced legislation in 2013, which was passed by Legislature but vetoed by Governor. Introduced legislation again in 2014, which failed.
Utah – Passed an ag-gag law in March 2012. Criminalizes providing false information on an employment application with the intent to record images, preventing an investigator from gaining access to a farm.
Vermont – Introduced legislation in 2013. Failed.
Washington – Introduced legislation in 2015 to create the crime of “interference with agriculture production” and classifies it as a gross misdemeanor with maximum penalties of one year in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.
Wyoming – Introduced legislation in 2013, which failed. Introduced S.F. 12 in 2015 to criminalize collection of "resource data" (including photos and video) on private land and prohibit it from being used as evidence in criminal trials. Governor Mead signed S.F. 12 into law in March.
Other states have related statutes that are sometimes called "eco-terrorism" or "animal enterprise interference" laws. View this chart to see if your state currently has any kind of farm-related, anti-whistleblower law on the books.
Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to stay up to date on ways you can help! You can also enter your zip code here to look up your governor and state legislators and contact them to ask that they vote against these dangerous bills.
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