Undercover Farm Video Reignites Filming Law

An undercover video, shot by the animal rights group Mercy for Animals on an Iowa pg farm, has reignited debate over the controversial Iowa law banning such videos from being created and published. The video, which was released on the internet earlier this week, is remarkably graphic, depicting piglets being thrown against cement walls, castrations and tail dockings done without pain relief, and dozens of animals suffering from infections going untreated.

Iowa Select Farms, the company depicted in the video, has claimed that only a small portion of the video depicts animal abuses by employees. In addition, the company has promised to investigate the abuses and discipline the employees in question. Mercy for Animals, on the other hand, has claimed that the video is indicative of abuses that occur throughout animal farms and has called for increased transparency in food production.

The video has been released in the midst of increased debate over Iowa’s controversial undercover filming ban. The bill, which has passed the Iowa House and is currently being debated in the Iowa Senate, would criminalize undercover videos shot on farms without the express permission of the farmer in question. Opponents of the bill presented a petition with 41,000 signatures to the Iowa legislature calling for the bill to be defeated.

The bill, which would make it a crime to possess or distribute audio or video recordings of farms, will almost certainly lead to constitutional challenges. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that videos exposing animal cruelty are protected forms of free speech.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer