Bills of the Week: Iowa HF 431 and Iowa HF 589

On March 1, 2011 and March 8, 2011, Iowa introduced HF 431 and HF 589, respectively.  These bills would prohibit a person from tampering with property associated with an animal facility or crop operation, including damaging property, killing or injuring an animal or crop, committing theft, or disrupting operations.  They would also prohibit a person from interfering with an animal facility or crop operation.  “Interfering with” an animal facility or crop operation would include producing an audio or visual record which reproduces an image or sound occurring on or in the location, or possessing or distributing the record.

The bills would also prohibit a person from exercising control over the location or property, with intent to deprive the owner of the property.  A person would also be prohibited from entering onto the location, if the person has notice that the location is not open to the public.  Finally, the bills would prohibit a person from committing fraud by obtaining access to an animal facility or crop operation by false pretenses for the purpose of committing an act not authorized by the owner, or by making a false statement as part of an application to be employed at the location.

Last month, Florida introduced a similar bill, S 1246, which would prohibit a person from entering onto a farm or photographing or video recording a farm without the owner’s written consent.  The AVMA is unaware of the introduction or adoption of any similar bills in the past. 

We are very interested in hearing your opinions on these bills.

17 thoughts on “Bills of the Week: Iowa HF 431 and Iowa HF 589

  1. Boycott factory farming.
    Stop eating meat and become a vegetarian.
    Simple answer to a complex solution.
    Your body will be healthier for it.

  2. I am a strong proponent of providing the proper level of animal welfare and care to animals. However, allowing animal rights with an agenda to shoot pictures within an animal facility, a slaughterhouse, etc. is not my idea of transparency, particularly since it is likely that these pictures will be taken out of context and edited. I have been closely involved with such an occurence and there was nothing honest, ethical, or even beneficial to the animals in this case. These laws are designed to protect farmers from these predators who beleive more in the animal rights cause than the truth and animal welfare. I am for a system that will stop animal from being abuse, but not for one that will further the agenda of terrorists.

  3. I would like to urge AVMA to oppose HF 589. I’m very concerned about the welfare of farm animals; however, my main concern with this bill is that it does not specifically exempt dog-breeding facilities. This bill will make it illegal to take undercover photos or videos of puppy mills. Photos and videos of puppy mills that were obtained by undercover means have been crucial to raising awareness about the cruel conditions in many large-scale commercial dog-breeding facilities. If this bill is made law, not only will a person who obtains undercover video be subject to prosecution; their punishment will actually be more severe that the punishment faced by the person who perpetrated the animal abuse. Most people in Iowa are not aware of the horrible puppy mill problem here, but I deal with it on a regular basis. I run AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport in De Soto and we have to help clean up the mess left by the commercial breeders when they toss out their used up breeding dogs. Puppy mills MUST be and WILL be stopped sooner or later. HF 589 only delays our efforts. HF 589 means additional years of cruelty and inhumane treatment of companion animals. Iowa continues to turn a blind eye to this problem, along with the problem of cruelty toward our farm animals. It’s absolutely criminal what goes on in this state and the only reason for this bill is to cover up these crimes. Please do not perpetuate these crimes by supporting HF 589.

  4. I’m from Iowa and am ashamed of this bill and how many factory farms are treating their animals. The truth is this kind of cruelty is not just in the state of Iowa and not just pigs, but also cattle and poultry and in nearly every state! We must stand up for these animals that are unable to fight back and stop these factory farms from abuse, murder, and pollution.

  5. Pingback: Bills of the Week: Iowa HF 431 and Iowa HF 589 « The LP 72980/The LP 999 Blog

  6. I oppose these bills. Are the state VMA’s taking an official position for or against their passage? Has AVMA been asked for input from the state legislatures?

  7. I’ve written to Gov. Terry Brandstad (HF 589) & MN Gov. Mark Dayton (Senate File 1118 & HF 1369) asking them to veto this bill. People have the right to be informed regarding the treatment and unnecessary cruelties inflicted on these animals. We need watchdogs to keep some deranged employees from brutalizing these creatures more than they already are. Hopefully more people will choose a vegetarian diet, if not to spare suffering, for environment and health issues. I have & will never go back to SAD (standard American diet).

  8. The meat industry does not want the public to know about the extraordinarily cruel treatment of animals on factory farms. The HBO documentary, Death on a Factory Farm, is a case in point. A worker at a pig gestation facility filmed how baby pigs were being thrown accross the room into a dumpster and also filmed a sow being killed by being hanged from a metal chain. The film is about the court case that ensued. Instead of distancing themselves from these practices, the pork industry hired an “expert” to testify that these were normal practices and not inhumane.

  9. There are already laws in Iowa about falsifying information in employment applications, entering property with out permission, destroying and/or stealing the property of others, so the only NEW piece of legislation that this bill brings to the table is prohibiting undercover videos/picture being made at livestock and companion animal facilities. If a livestock owner/operator, companion animal breeder, slaughterhouse, etc… is operating in an ethical and respectable manner and is in compliance with laws and regulations, what is there to be afraid of? The vicious and evil tactics that some animal rights nuts use are already illegal. I just have a hard time with eliminating the “checks and balances system” of our society. Just a my thoughts.

  10. I believe this bill needs to be protested! We cannot count on inspectors to keep us safe and ensure animals are not harmed because operations can be run differently when they are present. Whistle blowers need to be protected and quite frankly animals on a farm should be treated as though they themselves are employees of the farm, not as property of the farm. These animals are beings too.

  11. Are you kidding me, Jim? AVMA, as an organization that ostensibly exists to advocate for the well-being of animals and those that care for them, should see as unconscionable any thought of supporting this bill. “Protecting the animals from bio-terrorism”? How, exactly? I agree that the methods of some of those groups may seem a bit extreme, but is the alternative, essentially giving these people license to discard humane treatment of their animals, really better?

  12. As a consumer, I want transparency. I pay for goods, and I want to know that people and animals are provided no undue harm in the making of those goods.

  13. This legislation comes as a breath of fresh air to me. Too long have the HSUS and PETA activists controlled animal agriculture legislation. Their extremist views and “abuse” videos have hurt agriculture time and time again, and it is time to put a stop to their Lies. HSUS has already started to ratchet up their opposition to this bill as it exposes their vulnerability through the illegally obtained videos, editing, and choreographed scenes of alleged animal abuse. I would ask the AVMA to support this bill because not only does the legislation represent your clients, it also protects animals from bio-terrorism and abuse from staged videos by activists.