Protesters rally against ‘ag-gag’ law

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DRAPER, Utah -- Nearly 100 protesters rallied Saturday against a law passed in 2012 that makes it illegal to film an agricultural operation while trespassing or entering under false pretenses, and the first person to be arrested under that law was among them.

Amy Meyer was arrested in February over video she shot of the Dale T. Smith and Sons Meat Packing Company, which she said shows evidence of animal cruelty. Charges were dropped after it could not be determined conclusively if Meyer was trespassing.

Protesters lined the sidewalk near that same meat packing company, and they said they believe Utah lawmakers did their constituents a disservice by passing the "Ag-Gag" law that Meyer was arrested under.

Meyer said the law should be struck down.

“The Ag-Gag law should not be on the books because they have no legitimate reason to expect that much of a right to privacy, just like there might be a private day care, but we still believe that the public should be able to see what’s happening inside that day care,” she said. “If they passed a law that said you can’t film inside our day care, the public would be outraged, just like we are with Ag-Gag.”

Dale T. Smith and Sons Meat Packing Co. issued a press release, which included the following statement:

“The public is being misled about our business by the protesters. Keeping animals free of stress and injury is in any meatpacking company’s best interest. At Dale T. Smith and Sons our animal handling and treatment practices are humane and responsible.”