"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?
In 2012, we successfully defeated anti-whistleblower bills in seven states; in 2013, we defeated 11 more. Despite our best efforts, some states have enacted ag-gag laws while others 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 would prevent the collection of adequate evidence to show patterns of abuse, neglect or abandonment, potentially hindering prosecution of abusers.
Florida – Introduced legislation in 2012. Failed.
Idaho – Passed an ag-gag law in 2014. The law criminalizes unauthorized recording inside agricultural facilities; conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $5000 fine.
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. In 2015, a poulty-specific ag-gag bill, H.B. 318, was introduced to prohibit an “agent or employee of the department of conservation” from entering a poultry facility without permission.
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.” The 2015 session saw the introduction of H.B. 179 which, among other dangerous provisions, would make it a crime to "enter an animal facility to take pictures by photograph, video camera, or other means with the intent to commit criminal defamation."
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. Failed.
New York – Introduced legislation in 2011 and 2012. Failed.
North Carolina – Introduced a broadly worded employment fraud bill in 2013. NC has a two-year session; in spite of failing to meet the crossover deadline, the bill was resurrected in May 2014 but ultimately failed.
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. Washingtonians, Take Action Now!
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. Wyoming, Take Action Now!
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.
PLEASE NOTE: When you click on the link above, you will be accessing content on a website owned and/or maintained by a third party. The legal information on the MSUCL website is researched and provided by MSUCL, not by the ASPCA, and by clicking the link above, you acknowledge that you understand that this information is not being provided by the ASPCA. The information provided is general in nature and is not intended as legal advice. If you have legal questions or concerns, you are advised to contact appropriate counsel.