US state set to criminalise illegal entry into poultry farms

03-05-2012 | | |

A senate committee of the state of Missouri seems ready to recommend a bill that would make it illegal to secretly film a livestock facility in the state.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Casey Guernsey, would make it a crime for a person to lie on a job application or use false pretences to gain access to an agriculture production facility, such as a poultry house.

Offenders would be charged under a misdemeanour, with fines between US$500—US$1000. Repeat offence makes the crime a felony, with US$5000 fine and potentially four years in jail.

Missouri follows a trend started by Iowa and Utah, setting legislation popularly known as ‘ag-gag’ laws, so-called as they could potentially be used to prosecute those who draw attention to agricultural irregularities. All three states count strong farm lobbies.
The bill, HG 1860, is sponsored by representative Casey Guernsey, chair of the Missouri House Agribusiness Committee.

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