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The Idaho "Ag Gag Bill" Moves Through The Senate

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By Andrew Reed

Boise, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) A controversial ag bill clears a hurdle at the state house on Friday advancing through the senate.

It’s the ag gag bill and, it would prohibit animal activists from spying on dairy and agricultural producers.

Idaho senators voted 23-10 to put people caught recording undercover video of agricultural operations in jail and fine them up to $5,000.

“I’m in support of it and I’m so hopeful that those whom assume that it’s all about hiding animal cruelty can understand that’s it’s about a bigger issue. Its property rights and everybody wants a right to be secure on their own property," said Rep. Maxine Bell.

Idaho dairies are promoting the measure following a video produced at a southern Idaho dairy in 2012 by the animal-rights group "Mercy for Animals."

"There was an incident sometime ago with animal cruelty. None of us condones animal cruelty. You cannot run a business with animals and treat them badly. It just doesn't work," said Bell.

Opponents argued the bill would put somebody behind bars merely for snapping a picture of a cow being abused.

"Unfortunately if this bill passes it will make a safe haven for animal abuse on Idaho factory farms. It will send a clear message to the rest of the world that Idaho farms have a lot of horrible corrupt and abusive practices to hide,” said Matt Rice, Mercy for Animals.

The bill now moves to the house for a vote. That’s expected to happen sometime next week.

Read the bill here: http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2014/S1298.pdf


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