A senate committee of the state of Missouri seems poised to recommend a bill that, if passed, would allow prosecution of those who would gain unlawful access to an agricultural facility and those who would record and disseminate pictures or sound taken at an agricultural facility without the knowledge or permission of the owner.
Violators would be charged under a misdemeanour, with fines between US$500—US$1000. Repeat offence makes the crime a felony, with US$5000 fine and up to four years in jail.
Missouri follows a trend started by Iowa and Utah, setting legislation popularly known as ‘ag-gag’ laws, called such as they could potentially be used to prosecute those who draw attention to agricultural irregularities. All three states count strong farm lobbies.
The bill, HG 1860, is sponsored by representative Casey Guernsey, chair of the Missouri House Agribusiness Committee.