Gov. Otter’s Lawyers Want Case Against ‘Ag-Gag’ Bill Dropped
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Attorneys for Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a new law that makes it illegal to secretly film animal abuse at agricultural facilities.
A coalition of animal activists, civil rights groups and others sued last month, asking U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill to strike down what they call an “ag gag” law. The coalition contends the law curtails freedom of speech and makes gathering proof of animal abuse a crime with a harsher punishment than the penalty for animal cruelty itself.
Otter signed the law in February after Idaho’s $2.5 billion dairy industry complained that videos showing cows being abused at a southern Idaho dairy unfairly hurt business. Otter’s attorneys contend the coalition lacks the right to challenge the law.