Controversial 'Ag-Gag' Law Overruled in Utah

The judge said it is 'unconstitutional' to ban filming inside the facilities
The 2012 law bans activists from documenting abuse within animal agriculture

A judge in Utah has ruled that the 'ag-gag' law - which makes filming and photography to document abuse in animal agriculture illegal - is unconstitutional.

The law was passed by the Utah State Legislature in 2012, targeting animal welfare groups who filmed abuses to back up their allegations.

But at the end of last week, US District Court Judge Robert Shelby claimed the law violates the First Amendment right to free speech.

Protected speech

He wrote in his ruling: "Utah undoubtedly has an interest in addressing perceived threats to the state agricultural industry, and as history shows, it has a variety of constitutionally permissible tools at its disposal to do so. 

"Suppressing broad swaths of protected speech without justification, however, is not one of them.

"In sum, it appears the consensus among courts is that the act of recording is protectable First Amendment speech."

History

Judge Shelby became involved in the case after the arrest of activist Amy Meyer, who filmed a cow outside a slaughterhouse.

Following the judge's ruling she said: "Four years ago, I stood outside a slaughterhouse in Draper and filmed a sick cow as she was being pushed with a front-end loader, as though she were nothing but a piece of garbage. 

"I was shocked when I was the one charged with a crime instead of that animal’s abusers. It should never be a crime to tell the story of an animal who is being abused and killed, even if it’s for food. Today’s court ruling is a vindication for anyone who stands up for what’s right and tells the truth."

READ MORE:

Three Horse Microchips Found In Batch Of '100% Beef'

$6 Billion 'Pink Slime' Meat Case Settled: 'Result Could Affect How Journalists Report Stories'

Sheep Farmer Loses Appeal To Overturn Seven Year Ban In Neglect Case

Reuse this contentBack to top of the page
PBN Contributor:

Some of our articles are published as a team, which means the article has been produced by a collection of people rather than one author. If you have any questions regarding what is written above please contact us.

Since you're here...
...we’ve got a small favour to ask. Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week across Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, our weekly newsletter and this website. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure.

support our work

Join the conversation

Get updates from Plant Based News
For stories you need to read, in one handy email. Get our newsletter in your inbox every week.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form

You may also like:

July 3, 2017

Success During Opening Weekend Of World’s First Made-To-Order Vegan 'Nice-Cream' Bar

The founders want to bring healthy eating to the masses

July 18, 2017

UK's New £10 Note Revealed Today - And It Is Not Suitable For Vegans

Like the current £5, the new tenner contains animal-derived tallow

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

Follow us on social media: