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Ag-Gag defeat: Idaho to pay $260,000 in legal fees to animal rights group in dairy spying lawsuit

This award sends a strong message that Ag-Gag laws, which are designed to insulate factory farms from public scrutiny, are not only bad policy but illegal as well.

Editor The ARK Center

AP:An animal welfare group applauded a court ruling ordering the state of Idaho to pay $260,000 to attorneys for animal rights groups after federal courts said the state’s law banning spying at farms, dairies and slaughterhouses violated free speech rights… U.S. District Court Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued the order as part of a settlement between Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and the Animal Legal Defense Fund and others… “We hope this award sends a strong message that Ag-Gag laws, which are designed to insulate factory farms from public scrutiny, are not only bad policy but illegal as well,” said John Seber of Mercy for Animals…

The dairy industry pressed for the law after Los Angeles-based Mercy For Animals in 2012 released videos that showed workers at Bettencourt Dairy in southern Idaho beating and stomping cows, and using a tractor to drag a cow by a chain attached to her neck… Idaho lawmakers in 2014 passed the law making it a crime to surreptitiously videotape agriculture operations after the state’s $2.5 billion dairy industry complained that the videos made public by Mercy For Animals unfairly hurt their businesses’. SOURCE…

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