Idaho is the seventh state to adopt so-called “ag-gag” provisions into their agriculture protection laws. They include prohibitions on falsifying employment applications and surreptitiously taking pictures or making videos. Animal rights activists say the prohibitions are deliberately designed to silence or “gag” anyone attempting to collect evidence.
Idaho joins Iowa, Utah, and Missouri in passing recent “ag-gag” laws. Three other states, North Dakota, Montana, and Kansas, adopted the first generation of such measures during the 1990-91 legislative seasons.
The Gem State dairy industry was stung in 2012 when Los Angeles-based Mercy for Animals sent an undercover operative into Idaho’s Bettencourt Dairy and produced videos showing animals being abused and sexually molested. Five hourly dairy employees were quickly fired and ultimately charged and convicted on animals abuse charges.