Hugh Pickens writes "The Seattle Post Intelligencer reports that an effort to outlaw the undercover recording of animal abuse in livestock operations appears to have stalled in Iowa after previously failing in Minnesota, Florida and New York, with the pushback coming from citizens and activists complaining that the proposals were aimed at protecting an industry that doesn't exhibit enough concern for farm animal welfare. A bill introduced earlier this year to criminalize the actions of activists who make unauthorized hidden videos of animal abuse appeared to be headed for approval in the Iowa Legislature, with proposed penalties including fines of up to $7,500 and up to five years in prison. 'I feel it is wrong to absolutely lie to get a job to try to defame the employer,' says Iowa representative Annette Sweeney, a farmer and Republican legislator who sponsored the bill. But District Attorney James R. Horton, who filed animal cruelty charges against employees and the owner of a large-scale calf-raising farm, says he probably 'wouldn't have a case' if not for covert video provided by an animal protection group, and that 'we wouldn't have anything' in terms of evidence against the suspects in the beating deaths of dairy calves at E6 Cattle Co."
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