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Full Version: Utah Bill: Videotaping a Factory Farm is Same as Assaulting a Police Officer
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Utah is the latest state to consider new laws targeting undercover investigators who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms. A new bill would make photographing animal abuse on par with assaulting a police officer.

Rep. John Mathis calls undercover investigators "animal rights terrorists," and says video recordings that have brought national attention to systemic animal welfare abuses are "propaganda" and fundraising efforts.

The bill, HB187, targets anyone who videotapes or takes photograph on a farmer's property without permission. It creates the crime of "agricultural operation interference," a class A misdemeanor which is elevated to a third-degree felony on the second offense.

It comes at at time when the FBI has considered "terrorism" charges against undercover investigators.

Rep. Mathis' opening remarks at a hearing by the Utah House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee on February 14th are indicative of the good ol' boy network that is attempting to pass this legislation:

"It's fun to see my good ag friends in this committee," Mathis said. "" all my good friends are here."

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