Utah responds to lawsuit over so-called ‘Ag Gag’ law

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A file photo of protesters rallying against Utah's 'Ag-Gag' law in May of 2013.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Attorney General’s Office has filed a response to a lawsuit filed by animal rights groups defending the state’s so-called “Ag Gag” law.

The terse response, filed last week in federal court, denies the allegations leveled by animal welfare organizations. It asks the judge to dismiss the lawsuit outright.

Read the filing here:

At a hearing last month, a federal judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and others over Utah’s Agricultural Interference Law. The groups claim the law criminalizes photography or video recording inside agricultural operations, targets them and stifles free speech.

5 comments

  • trevor

    Ag Gag law is ridiculous. All it does is let farmers abuse their animals if they want to. Makes no sense since Utah made animal abuse a felony. Why protect the farmers that do this?

    • Trish Ramirez

      I totally agree, Trevor. These AgGag laws are total and complete travesties. They protect incompetent and abusive people in the business of making money off of the lives of animals and they protect the sensibilities of the people that consume these animals with no idea as to how they are treated. If the people raising livestock have nothing to hide, are doing nothing immoral or obscene, why do they need to be protected so completely by laws that restrict free speech and free press??

      If people in the agriculture business are worried that their customer base will be repelled by knowing the truth regarding the handling of animals, perhaps they should change their practices rather than try to stifle free speech.

      This is America, not Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany. People should have an absolute right to see how their food is being raised/handled/prepared. If farmers/agriculturalists are uncomfortable with the scrutiny, they are doing something they KNOW is wrong.

      Factory farming IS cruel. If people are comfortable enough with the practice to make money off of it and consume the food that comes from it, they should be comfortable seeing how it is done and what it entails. If the truth makes people uncomfortable, that is their own personal problem, and should cause them to reflect on their life choices, not shoot the messengers telling the truth.

    • Susan

      Where do I go to help? This is wrong. We need to protect the animals who have no voice. What are the farmers hiding? I hope more people will stand up for the animals instead of hiding behind the farmers.

  • Bob

    The groups mentioned have shown by actions that they refuse to obey the law. Members of these groups are no better than ISIS terrorists we are fighting in Iraq. When you steal people’s property, firebomb their property and kill innocent animals then you are criminals! Closing down legitimate businesses and terrorizing people who wear leather or fur is criminal. Problem is the vast majority of PITA members are not smart enough to tell a fake fur from a real one! I know, PITA is spelled wrong, but when you have no respect for them or SEWER members, then what can you say?

  • Steve

    Recording video of farmers taking care of their animals doesn’t go far enough. It’s also illegal to abuse your kids. We need to make it legal for anyone who wants to come into your home and take video of the way you raise your kids. There are also laws regulating how businesses are run. We need video of all corporate board meetings. It’s illegal for husbands to abuse their wives. Time for 24/7 video in every bedroom. Who cares if the Constitution guarantees the right to privacy. This stuff is all important…. end sarcasm

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