Pennsylvania Considers Ag Gag Bill

The Pennsylvania state legislature is considering legislation that would ban the creation and production of undercover videos taken on state farms and ranches.
For the past several years, lawmakers in agricultural states have turned towards ag gag bills as ways to protect the farm sector from public pressure and bad publicity. In the wake of movies like Food Inc. and the release of videos created by groups like People for the Ethnical Treatment of Animals documenting horrific instances of animal rights abuses, lawmakers have been pressured by local farmers to take drastic action.
In many of these states, gag laws have been written so broadly that they would criminalize taking a picture on the side of the road or taking a video on an iPhone of animals in a pet store. Many first amendment activists are also concerned that the laws present a major assault on free speech.
In Pennsylvania, legislation has been introduced by Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate respectively that would prevent activists from making undercover videos. State activists are already preparing legal challenges.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer