The state of Iowa has long been considered Ground Zero in the battle against harmful anti-whistleblower legislation known as “ag-gag” laws, which criminalize the practice of collecting undercover investigative footage on farming operations and livestock facilities—effectively allowing factory farms to operate behind closed doors and away from the public eye.
Iowa’s first ag-gag law, passed in 2012, was one of the first laws of its kind on the national stage, making it illegal for journalists and advocacy groups to film on Iowa factory farms and other animal agriculture-related facilities. In January, a federal judge ruled that law unconstitutional and a violation of the First Amendment—a major victory for farmed animals and transparency.
However, the Iowa legislature then turned around and made small tweaks to the law before rushing it through the state House and Senate—setting the stage for Gov. Reynolds to sign it into law just last week.
This disturbing new development will protect the interests of industrial agriculture operations and allow them to keep consumers in the dark when it comes to animal welfare, food safety, worker’s rights, and more—and deters whistleblowers who would expose poor practices.
Though the bill is already signed into law, you can still make your voice heard, especially if you are a current Iowa resident! Contact Gov. Kim Reynolds' office here and let them know you oppose this reckless disregard for animal welfare and consumer rights, or get in touch with the Iowa Tourism Office if you feel this dangerous new ag-gag measure discourages you from visiting the state.
With public outrage pouring in from across the country and a legal appeal on the horizon, stay tuned for updates on this developing situation! Be sure you’re signed up for our urgent action alerts for the latest news and opportunities to take quick action for farmed animals.