Ag gag bill's first defendant on Access Utah Wednesday

May 8, 2013

In the first test in the nation of an “Ag Gag” law, a Utah woman was recently charged for using her cell phone to film a slaughterhouse. Charges against Amy Meyer were subsequently dropped.  Under Utah’s law (H.B. 187) passed in 2012, it is illegal to film an agricultural operation while trespassing or entering the premises on false pretenses. Meyer says that she became an animal rights activist and vegan after learning about the conditions in factory farms and that people deserve to know where their food is coming from. <--break->Supporters of the law say that these secret recordings do nothing to help the public and that if a person suspects wrongdoing at an agricultural operation the proper step is to contact law enforcement.

What do you think? Do surreptitious whistleblowers at farms and slaughterhouses provide a needed service or are they public nuisances? Do you think Utah’s “Ag Gag” law is a necessary protection or an infringement on citizens’ rights?  

Our guests include: Sterling Brown, Vice President of Public Policy with the Utah Farm Bureau; Vandhana Bala, General Counsel with Mercy for Animals, Lawyer Stewart Gollan and Amy Meyer whose charges were dropped.