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Legal Issues in Animal Agriculture: Understanding the Recent Idaho Ag Gag Law Ruling

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

By Ashley Ellixson

People next to a chicken farm (Photo by Edwin Remsberg ).

A recent federal court ruling in Idaho has brought the debate over so-called “ag gag” laws to a head in many areas of the country. But what does it mean for attorneys, agricultural service professionals, educators and producers? On November 5th at 1 pm EST, the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and the Agricultural Law Education Initiative and co-sponsors will host a one-hour webinar entitled Legal Issues in Animal Agriculture: Understanding the Recent Idaho Ag Gag Ruling.

“Ag gag” laws are intended to prevent undercover filming of farms without the owner’s consent. While proponents believe these laws are necessary to protect the agricultural industry from undercover videos being taken by groups bent on taking down agriculture, opponents believe the laws censor animal rights abuses and create a chilling effect in reporting violations.

In August 2015, a federal district judge in Idaho struck down Idaho’s ag gag law for violating the 1st Amendment and 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. At the same time, the judge highlight many avenues that would still be legal for agricultural operators to utilize in protecting their livelihoods. A similar law is currently being challenged in Utah.

During the November 5th webinar, speakers will discuss the ramifications of the Idaho ruling and options available to producers. Registration is available at Speakers include:

  1. Erin Morrow Hawley is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Missouri where she focuses on constitutional litigation, tax policy, and agricultural law. A graduate of Yale Law School, and a former law clerk to Chief Justice Roberts of the United States Supreme Court, Erin will discuss the constitutional implications of the district court’s ruling.

  2. Ashley Newhall is an Extension Legal Specialist with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and the Agriculture Law Education Initiative. Ashley will highlight those strategies agricultural operations can still utilize to protect their operations.

This webinar is open to all attorneys, agricultural lenders, Extension educators and specialists, agricultural service providers, and agricultural operators. The webinar is free to attend.

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics logo

This joint Extension webinar is open to all and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, or gender identity and expression.

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