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April 22, 2011
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Minnesota bill would ban undercover 'animal abuse' videos

A bill introduced last week in the Minnesota Legislature would ban the production or distribution of undercover videos of alleged animal abuse.

"It's aimed at people who are harassing and sabotaging these operations,'' said Sen. Doug Magnus. "These people who go undercover aren't being truthful about what they're doing."

The House sponsor, Rep. Rod Hamilton, said that people who document animal abuse would be "guilty of abuse" if they don't report it immediately to an operation's owner, management or law enforcement. In the wording of the bill, "interference" with an "animal facility" without the owner's consent would become a felony, depending on the amount of damage to the operation.

"We think it would be an important deterrent tool in our toolbox against trespassers," said Daryn McBeth, president of the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council, a trade organization. "You've had these videos shot by fraudulently hired employees, that kind of thing."

Similar bills are being considered in Florida, Idaho and Iowa, which is where Magnus said he got the idea for the legislation after speaking to that bill's sponsor.

"People have been going into these facilities and doing all kinds of mischief over the years," he said. "If you want to see what's going on in a facility, tell the owner straight up, but don't engage in outright lies."

Hearings on the bill have not yet been scheduled in the House or Senate.

A bill introduced last week in the Minnesota Legislature would ban the production or distribution of undercover videos of alleged animal abuse.

"It's aimed at people who are harassing and sabotaging these operations,'' said Sen. Doug Magnus. "These people who go undercover aren't being truthful about what they're doing."

The House sponsor, Rep. Rod Hamilton, said that people who document animal abuse would be "guilty of abuse" if they don't report it immediately to an operation's owner, management or law enforcement. In the wording of the bill, "interference" with an "animal facility" without the owner's consent would become a felony, depending on the amount of damage to the operation.

"We think it would be an important deterrent tool in our toolbox against trespassers," said Daryn McBeth, president of the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council, a trade organization. "You've had these videos shot by fraudulently hired employees, that kind of thing."

Similar bills are being considered in Florida, Idaho and Iowa, which is where Magnus said he got the idea for the legislation after speaking to that bill's sponsor.

"People have been going into these facilities and doing all kinds of mischief over the years," he said. "If you want to see what's going on in a facility, tell the owner straight up, but don't engage in outright lies."

Hearings on the bill have not yet been scheduled in the House or Senate.


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Tri-State Livestock News Updated Aug 14, 2012 04:01PM Published Apr 22, 2011 02:07PM Copyright 2011 Tri-State Livestock News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.