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With Ashley gone, it is now my job to discuss ag-gag rulings as courts rule on the on-going challenges to these laws. Recently, the federal district court in Utah found that the state’s ag-gag law violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (Animal Legal Defense Fund, 2017). Prior to this, the Idaho federal district court had found Idaho’s ag-gag law violated the U.S. Constitution. Idaho is currently appealing that decision before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Although these laws potentially violate the Constitution, producers still have options. In many cases, a producer can work with producer groups to conduct audits on the operation to determine that current practices are up to date, employees have the proper training and tools, do background checks before hiring new employees, and use employment contracts and employee handbooks to help limit many of the issues that ag-gag laws are designed to address. Read More