Stateline Midwest ~ May 2013
For former Rep. Annette Sweeney, a third-generation farmer from Iowa, the goal of a contentious measure she introduced and helped pass last year was plain — protect agriculture producers from the unfair practices of outsiders.
As the result of passage of HF 589, it is now a crime in Iowa to seek work in agricultural facilities under false pretenses. The law seeks to crack down on those who have sought such employment in order to investigate conditions and uncover cases of animal abuse.
“Farmers try very hard to raise animals using the very best of science and husbandry,” Sweeney says, “and then people with a vegan agenda come in and destroy generations of hard work.”
That is one perspective.
Others have dubbed Iowa’s measure, as well as proposals introduced this year in states such as Indiana and Nebraska, “ag gag” legislation, unfair and potentially unconstitutional attempts to target whistleblowers and shield animal abuse at large production facilities