Utah’s ‘Ag-Gag’ law likely going to trial

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SALT LAKE CITY — A federal court filing suggests that animal rights activists and the state of Utah are unlikely to settle a lawsuit over the so-called “Ag-Gag” law.

In a proposed scheduling order filed last week, the Utah Attorney General’s Office ranked the possibility of reaching a settlement in the civil lawsuit as “poor.” A trial over the state law would likely take place at the end of 2016.

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

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

Animal rights groups have sued the state of Utah over its 2012 “Agricultural Interference Law,” which makes it a misdemeanor crime to go into a farm or agricultural operation and take photos or video without permission. The Animal Defense Legal Fund, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and others sued claiming it targeted animal welfare organizations and violated free speech rights.

Amy Meyer was charged in 2013 with violating the law, when she stood on a sidewalk filming what she claimed was a cow being pushed by a bulldozer at a slaughterhouse in Draper. The Utah Attorney General’s Office acknowledged she was wrongly charged, because she filed from a public place.

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