Branstad signs "Ag Gag" bill - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Branstad signs "Ag Gag" bill

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

Governor Terry Branstad privately signed the so called "Ag Gag" bill on Friday.

This was three days after it was approved by lawmakers.

This makes filming on a farm without the farmer's knowledge would be illegal.

Branstad said gaining access to property under false pretenses is a serious matter and farmers deserve protections.

"Iowa is a leading agricultural state. Farmers should not be subjected to people doing illegal things and being involved in fraud and deception in order to try to disrupt agricultural operations," Branstad said.

Critics said the bill is a violation of free speech rights and will ultimately silence whistleblowers who try to expose animal abuse at livestock operations.

Agricultural interests said they hope this will serve as a template for new laws around the country to protect farmers from undercover operations posing as workers.

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