Judge: Idaho's Anti-Dairy Spying Law Is Unconstitutional

Aug 3, 2015

A federal judge has ruled that Idaho's law banning secret filming of animal abuse at agricultural facilities is unconstitutional.

Credit Matt Northam / Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. Judge Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled Monday the law violates the First Amendment.

A coalition of animal activists, civil rights groups and media organizations sued the state more than a year ago, opposing the so called "ag gag" law. The coalition said the law curtailed freedom of speech and made gathering proof of animal abuse a crime with a harsher punishment than the penalty for animal cruelty.

Idaho lawmakers approved the law in 2014 after the state's $2.5 billion dairy industry complained that videos of cows being abused at a southern Idaho dairy filmed in 2012 unfairly hurt their business.