Advancing Law for Animals and Martínez Aguilasocho Law represented United Farm Workers of America in its amicus brief to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit concerning Iowa’s new ag-gag law. This new ag-gag law is substantively similar to a previous version that was struck down in 2019.
What are ag-gag laws? While they vary, ag-gag laws generally speaking restrict an individual’s ability to document illegal practices taking place inside factory farms by criminalizing various aspects of the process.
In 2017, a coalition of animal, environmental, and community advocacy groups challenged the first version of Iowa's ag-gag law as violative of the First Amendment. After this law was struck down, in March 2019, Iowa enacted a new ag-gag law to circumvent the federal court’s ruling.
Iowa's new ag-gag law prohibits gaining access to an agricultural production facility through deception if the person intends to cause an “injury” to the “business interest” of the facility. But this criminalizes appropriate efforts to investigate and document violations of animal welfare, farmworker rights, environmental protections, and more. In our amicus brief, we explained to the the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit how the new and illegal Iowa ag-gag law harms farmworkers, animals, and food safety.
Big thanks to the incredible coalition of plaintiffs and plaintiffs' counsel in this important case. The plaintiff coalition is composed of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Center for Food Safety, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, and Bailing Out Benji.
📌 Stay tuned for case updates!