Gov. Terry Branstad is defending his decision to sign into law a measure that criminalizes entering a farm under false pretense.
Branstad privately signed the so-called “Ag Gag” bill on Friday afternoon, three days after it was approved by lawmakers. He 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,” said Branstad.
Critics say the bill is a violation of free speech rights and will ultimately silence whistleblowers who try to expose animal abuse at livestock operations.