Veteran Advisor
Posts: 1,563
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Iowa Ag-Gag Law Overruled

It is not a crime to lie about your intentions to take a job at an animal or other livestock facility, says a federal judge.


Reporters and activists who take a job with the intent of exposing practices are OK according to the ruling.  You can lie about your reasons for taking the job because of your First Amendment rights.


Well, it seems there are a number of lessons to be learned.


First, of course, treat your agricultural activities according to law and best practice.  That includes establishing and enforcing standards.  Secondly, do a careful background check of anyone hired to clean out your hog house.  Or anything else, for that matter.


This "right to lie" ruling applies to more than just people checking to see if animals are abused.  It could be grounds for someone to take a job baling your hay in order to get access to your land to see if you have violated your FSA agreement on tillage practices.  It probably OKs someone to fly a drone over your farm to see if you have an adequate dam around your fuel barrels.  Let a hunter on your ground?  You've just permitted someone to walk around and see if you have anything the DNR would call a bait station.


There are dairies that are entirely automated.  No humans are needed to be around the cattle as they are milked.  Sound enticing?


Hey, wait, would illegal aliens be good hires?  They have a direct interest in not outing you.  Hmmmm.  Of course, that assumes you don't get busted for the alien somehow or other.


Pardon if my tongue is in my cheek.