ACLU of Iowa says state’s new ag-gag law violates free speech protections

Iowa’s second attempt to make it a crime for animal welfare activists, journalists and others to go undercover at meatpacking plants and livestock facilities will face a legal challenge.

The ACLU of Iowa filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the state’s new ag-gag law, saying it’s unconstitutional, chills free speech and criminalizes a free press.

“The Ag Gag 2.0 law aims to silence critics of worker rights abuses, animal cruelty, unsafe food safety practices, and environmental hazards in agricultural facilities,” said Rita Bettis Austen, legal director of the ACLU of Iowa.

Iowa lawmakers and ag groups say the law is necessary to protect producers from groups that would use false pretense to harm farm operations.

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