Activists Groups Target Kansas Law Protecting Livestock Owners Property Rights

A coalition filed a lawsuit this week in Kansas challenges the state’s law that protects the property rights of livestock owners.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Center for Food Safety, Hope Sanctuary and others argue that the law violates the First Amendment by deterring activists from undercover investigations at animal facilities. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports the groups have popularized the phrase “ag gag” to describe such laws.

The Kansas law was enacted in 1990 and is the oldest of its kind in the country. The Animal Legal Defense Fund claims the law “exists solely to protect the financial interests of industries that abuse animals.” The Animal Defense Fund also led a coalition that saw significant parts of similar laws in Utah and Idaho struck down.

Lawsuits against such laws are pending in North Carolina and Iowa.