Ag-Gag Unconstitutional: Huge Victory for Animals and People

A U.S. District Court has ruled (for the first time ever) that a state Ag-Gag law is unconstitutional! The case, filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, is a huge step in preventing notoriously harmful Ag-Gag legislation in Maryland and across the country. The court found an Idaho Ag-Gag law violated the 1st and 14th Amendments and was motivated by unconstitutional animus against animal advocates.

Under Ag-Gag laws, journalists and members of the public are at risk for documenting animal cruelty or life-threatening safety violations.  In holding the Ag-Gag law unconstitutional, the Court found:

  • “ALDF has come forward with abundant evidence that the law was enacted with the discriminatory purpose of silencing animal rights activists who conduct undercover investigations in the agricultural industry.”
  • “The effect of the statute will be to suppress speech…concerning topics of great public importance: the safety of the public food supply, the safety of agricultural workers, the treatment and health of farm animals, and the impact of business activities on the environment.”
  • “[A] purpose to discriminate and silence animal welfare groups in an effort to protect a powerful industry cannot justify the passage of [the law].”
  • “A state cannot pick and choose what type of speech or expressive conduct it will allow based on content.”
  • “Protecting the private interests of a powerful industry, which produces the public’s food supply, against public scrutiny is not a legitimate government interest.”

Court ruling: http://aldf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/8-3-2015-ALDF-decision-ag-gag.pdf

Info from ALDF: http://aldf.org/press-room/press-releases/idaho-ag-gag-law-ruled-unconstitutional-in-federal-court/

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Maryland Votes for Animals

The mission of Maryland Votes for Animals, Inc. is to create and support humane legislation, to engage animal advocates, and to work with legislators to promote animal welfare in Maryland.
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