Iowa Makes It A Crime To Video Animal Abuse


Despite a fierce campaign to stop the measure, Iowa became the first state Friday to officially make it a crime to enter a farming operation with the intent to secretly videotape animal abuse. Undercover footage filmed by animal rights groups during the past several years have been instrumental in exposing cases of cruelty to farm animals.

Governor Terry Branstad signed the law in a private ceremony. Iowa is the country’s leading producer of pork and eggs and the governor is known to have “strong ties to the state’s agricultural industry.”

Those in the industry see the new law as a way to fight back against animal activists who “aim to damage” food production operations.

Rep. Annette Sweeney, R-Alden and the House Agriculture Committee chairperson said, “This is a very, very positive step for agriculture. For right now, I think it’s a start to realize that we are serious about protecting the agriculture that we have in our state.”

Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines, who tried to defeat the bill called it a “hollow victory” because his supporters were able to water-down the original version of the law.

The original legislation would have made it illegal to record video or audio tape an agriculture operation without permission from the farmer or business owner. The new version only objects obtaining access to the facility in a fraudulent manner.

The Iowa law makes it a misdemeanor to lie on a job application to get access to a farm facility. The crime would be punishable with up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,500.

Sen. Joe Seng, D-Davenport and a veterinarian who sponsored the bill, said the compromise discourages animal activists from sneaking onto farms, but does not stop a legitimate employee from reporting animal abuse.

Currently seven other states are considering similar laws: Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Utah.


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Photo Credit: Samdogs

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Shelley Parsons
Shelley Parsonsabout a year ago

''The Greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.''


I'm afraid we're not seeing much moral progress here.

Colin Wright
Past Member 2 years ago

While this law should never have needed to be enacted, the good news is that it isn't too enforceable. Really, how are you going to prove someone applied for a job just to tape it? As far as I can tell, the people going undercover aren't advertising the hidden cameras they have. Then after obtaining the video footage they just quit that job. Do they then come out and say "Hey guess what, I was tricking your dumb ass?". They can submit the footage to whoever will disseminate it anonymously.

At least, this is what they CAN do from now on...

Until they make it illegal for people to encourage it, I'm here saying, DO IT!

Duane B.
.2 years ago

What a ridiculous law!

Mark Donners
Mark Donners2 years ago

Sweeney is a terrorist and a murderer and should be treated as such. These are evil, evil people

Inge Bjorkman
Inge Bjorkman2 years ago

Become vegetarian / vegan, it's the only thing that will end torture in the barns and it is also the best thing for the environment.
Love and Peace

Diane Makar
Diane Makar2 years ago

I feel strongly that this is a gross political error in judgement. We have rights to protect and air our mistreatreatments, whether human or animal. Next they will be banning free speech.

Kathy P.
Kathy P.2 years ago

Iowa YOU suck! This should never have been allowed to happen. Our animals need protection !! This is SO very very wrong!!

Berty Jardine
Berty Jardine2 years ago

We the consumers need to shut down factory farms

Berty Jardine
Berty Jardine2 years ago

You know where his money is coming from...

Margaret Pyne
Margaret Pyne2 years ago

I have tried to bring up my kids to not be cruel to animals,what do I say to them when supposed responsible adult leaders condone it!!!!!, I wonder if you have pets or had any as a child???? how would you feel if they were treated as these animals/birds are, GROW UP AND START TAKING RESPONSIBILITY or its going to come back on you BIG TIME!!!!!