What Are “Ag-Gag” Laws?

Recently, so-called “ag-gag” laws (often more formally titled as agricultural protection statutes) have frequently been in the news across the country.  Progressive Cattlemen magazine asked me to write an article explaining exactly what these laws are and how they work.


Although about half of U.S. states have attempted to pass “ag gag” laws, only seven have been successful.  Details of the laws vary across the seven states in which they have been adopted (North Dakota, Montana, Kansas, Utah, Iowa, Missouri, and Idaho), their general purpose is to prohibit a person from taking unauthorized photography or videos or from falsely obtaining access to an agricultural operation.  There are currently lawsuits pending challenging the constitutionality of these laws in Utah and Idaho.  Many agricultural organizations and producers in favor of the laws say that they are aimed at protecting their operations from intruders.  On the other hand, many animal rights groups and investigative journalists oppose the laws claiming that they violate free speech and place animals at a higher risk of being abused.

Learn more in my article, available here.

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