Journalists, Animal Rights Advocates File Lawsuit Against Utah "Ag-Gag" Law

July 23, 2013
Headlines

A group of animal rights advocates and journalists have filed the first-ever lawsuit against so-called ag-gag laws aimed at suppressing revelations of animal abuse at farms and slaughterhouses. The plaintiffs are challenging Utah’s 2012 law which imposes a penalty of up to one year in jail for recording images or sounds of agricultural operations without permission. While a number of states have passed ag-gag laws, Utah was the first to attempt a prosecution by charging a woman who filmed a slaughterhouse from a public street. The case was later dropped. One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, independent journalist Will Potter, wrote: "Utah’s law, and others like it, directly place both me and my sources at risk. There’s a long history of investigative journalism in this country based on exactly the type of research and whistleblowing that these laws criminalize."