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Private Property Rights For The Agricultural Industry

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By Joey Martin

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Interference with agricultural production, that's a hot button issues for the Idaho State Senate this week.

Last year, Bettencourt Dairy, in Hansen, was the center of controversy.

As the company was entangled in allegations of alleged abuse and mistreatment of animals by their employees.

Now the state is taking steps that would insure the privacy rights of agriculture based operations in the future.

But animal rights groups aren't taking that lying down.

In this week's segment of Grow Southern Idaho...

Joey martin for Idaho's First News takes a look at the latest regarding the Senate Bill.

"If you're on private property you have the duty to ask permission... if you're on public property you can film all you want."
Said Bob Nearebout, Executive Director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association.

Idaho Senate Bill 1298 is designed to protect agricultural private property from any type of theft of records or filming in the state.

This comes from last year's undercover investigation from the animal right group "Mercy for Animals".

The bill, which is currently with the Agricultural House Committee, is expected to come to the house floor later this week.

In response to the state's efforts, the activist group released more video from the investigation.

"We think people deserve to know what exactly that looks like. This legislation is a desperate attempt to sweep evidence of animal cruelty and sexual abuse under the rug... and we think that's wrong. We think consumers have a right to know where their food comes from and how animals on these factories farms are really treated so they can make informed choices."
Said Matt Rice from Mercy For Animals.

Bob Naerebout is the Executive Director of the Idaho Dairymen's Association.

"If you follow Mercy for Animals and their tactics nobody should be surprised that they're releasing some more of the video. That's typical of how they act. They're using these videos basically to complete their agenda... which is to attack animal agriculture on a whole."
Said Naerebout.

We specifically asked a representative with Mercy for Animals, what their agenda is.

"This is coming from a profit driven industry that's agenda is to make profits at all cost, and often at the expense of animal welfare, workers rights and the environment. Our agenda is to protect animals from needless cruelty and suffering."
Said Rice.

"This is a deterrent from people from coming into agricultural operations and being there illegally... being there through lies and deceit. I think it's fair and just and a good way to protect personal property rights."
Said, Naerebout.

Two sides to the story... But only one outcome in the end.

It's now up to the state of Idaho to make that final decision.

Mercy for Animals says that if the bill does pass the senate floor, they'll officially ask governor Otter to veto the bill.

The animal right group has a petition on their website that encourages governor otter for the veto.

You can see that petition on their website at www.mercyforanimals.org