On my drive home today I heard an interesting segment on NPR about the proposed bill, HF589 waiting for Iowa's governor's signature. The proposed bill is focusing on the fraudulent nature of people obtaining jobs in agriculture industries on false pretenses. Apparently in Iowa, animal activists are being hired in factories and then taking undercover videos to expose the animal cruelty going on at the factories. The penalty would be a serious misdemeanor and a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison.
People who are for the bill believe that the animal activists are trespassing and should be punished. They do not believe that they are infringing on any constitutional rights and have met with many different committees to make sure no rights are being lost. Supporters also claim that people attempting to expose the agriculture industry are trying to bring down the business and hurt the agriculture industry which Iowa heavily depends on.
People opposing the bill feel that this will prevent whistle blowers from coming forward, even those who have worked in the industry for many years. There are also concerns that this will prevent undercover journalism. In addition the question of the violation of constitutional rights.
After hearing this news report more questions were raised for me than answered. Such as, why? Why is the legislature getting involved to protect the agriculture business? Is the problem that wide spread that the big Ag companies need saving? What are they trying to hide?
What's your opinion?
photo credit: http://www.iowacorn.org/