The court won’t lift the ban on secret photography at abattoirs


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WASHINGTON (AP), – Monday’s Supreme Court rejection of a Kansas appeal to reaffirm a law that prohibited secret photography in abattoirs or other animal facilities was rejected by lower courts.

They did not reply to a federal court panel’s ruling that the “ag-gag” law had violated the First Amendment by strangling critical expressions about animal husbandry.

A split decision by three U.S. Court of Appeals judges ruled Kansas can not discriminate based solely on the intent of the individual to harm or aid the enterprise, even if deception was used in order to gain private property.

A permanent restraining order was issued by a federal court in 2020. The appeal ruling was upheld.

Kansas law makes it a crime to take pictures or videos of an animal facility without permission or to enter the facility with false pretenses.

The Food Safety Center and the Animal Welfare Fund were two of the groups that appealed against the ban.

The issue has been split between the Federal Courts of Appeal that had previously considered similar laws in Idaho and Iowa. This raises hopes for Kansas that the Supreme Court will step in.

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