First Ag-Gag charges brought… and then dropped
A Utah woman this week was the first to arrested and faces charges under the state's new so-called "ag-gag" laws, aimed to protect factory farms from whistleblowers. As Will Potter reported on Green is the New Red, Amy Meyer, standing on public land, filmed with her smartphone what she believed to be a sick, live cow being towed away from a slaughterhouse. Via Potter:
When the slaughterhouse manager came outside and told her to stop, she replied that she was on the public easement and had the right to film. When police arrived, she said told them the same thing. According to the police report, the manager said she was trespassing and crossed over the barbed-wire fence, but the officer noted “there was no damage to the fence in my observation.”
Meyer was allowed to leave. She later found out she was being prosecuted under the state’s new “ag-gag” law. This is the first prosecution in the country under one of these laws, which are designed to silence undercover investigators who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms. The legislation is a direct response to a series of shocking investigations by groups like the Humane Society, Mercy for Animals, and Compassion Over Killing that have led to plant closures, public outrage, and criminal charges against workers.