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New Penalty For Ag-Related Trespassing

Statewide Iowa — Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law that creates a new crime of lying to gain access to farms and livestock facilities with the intent to do financial or physical harm. 

The new law took effect immediately.

Two months ago, a federal judge ruled a similar state law was unconstitutional. This past week Republicans and a few Democrats in the legislature approved a new version that’s modeled after parts of an Idaho law which has survived one court challenge. Critics of the new Iowa law say “false speech” is still protected by the First Amendment. Many opponents call it the “ag gag” law, charging it prevents whistleblowers and consumer advocates from disclosing animal abuse.

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