Federal judge finds another Iowa ag-gag law unconstitutional

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Legislature has been trying for a decade to make it illegal for animal rights groups to sneak cameras into livestock barns to report animal abuse, but courts frequently rule the laws unconstitutional.

On Monday, a federal judge again struck down an Iowa law in the latest case pitting the right of farmers to protect their property from trespassers against activists who want to show consumers how farm animals are treated.

The March 2019 law created a trespass charge punishable by up to a year in jail for those who use deception to gain access to a farm to cause physical or economic harm.

The temporary court order prevents enforcement, and is expected to soon become permanent. The state can appeal.