Iowa House votes to put animal rights whistleblowers in jail

The Iowa House of Representatives has voted to put animal rights whistleblowers in jail. On March 17, 2011, the House voted 66 to 27 to pass House File 589, “A bill for an act relating to offenses involving agricultural operations, and providing penalties and remedies.” If enacted, the bill would make it a criminal offense to lie on a job application to work in an animal facility, or to obtain “access to an animal facility by false pretenses for the purpose of committing an act not authorized by the owner of the animal facility.” (Section 10) A second offense would be a felony. The bill would also criminalize the act of producing, “a record which reproduces an image or sound occurring at the animal facility . . ..” Possessing or distributing such a record would also be a crime. Again, a second offense would be a felony. The bill is obviously aimed at animal rights activists who have successfully documented inhumane treatment of animals used in agriculture. Recall that those who love sausage or respect the law should never see either one being made. This is no April Fool’s Day joke. The Iowa House really did pass this. The Iowa City Press-Citizen calls the “kill the messenger” bill, “blatantly unconstitutional.” The paper said the bill has no chance of passing the other Chamber, but an Iowa Senate committee approved the bill last Wednesday. “[W]e know bizarre backroom deals are sometimes made as part of the legislative sausage-making process,” the paper explains. And that is why I am a vegan.

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