Utah the Latest State to See Bill That Makes Filming Farm Animals a Crime

This looks like a screenshot of a satirical article by The Onion, but it’s actually an actual story over on the Salt Lake Tribune. Turns out Utah is the latest state to introduce Florida-esque legislation that would make it a crime to photograph or videotape agricultural operations without permission from owners. Like in Florida, the bill’s intent is to stop activist groups such as PETA from capturing covert imagery that allegedly show animal abuse.

Groups assail bill making it a crime to film farm animals (via The Click)

  • Casey Myers

    Stupidest thing I have heard all day! Besides who wants to take pics of cows anyway?


    Why? What’s wrong with including a cow in a photo?

  • John Milleker

    I’m not a PETA supporter, but I am against Animal Abuse. Just a thought, if you’re against people filming your farm animals you’re probably not treating them right.

    Though, with that said, I know that certain groups will spin video any way they can to make even the most humane farm seem like they’re abusing their animals.

  • Casey Myers

    Guilty as charged just found a pic of a cow in my flickr stream, luckily it was taken in Arizona so I am safe for now! ;-)

  • Markus WET

    The USA apparently want to get rid of all their photographers xD

  • Mute

    Anything – except perhaps military installations – should be legal to photograph from public land. It’s stupid to make a law that restricts normal rights of privacy to protect people from having their bad practices exposed.

    If someone’s sitting naked in front of their living room window and visible from the street they’re the ones that get arrested, not the people passing by. Like chronic masturbators, bad farmers shouldn’t require a law to protect them, they just need to do their business in the bedroom with the curtains closed.

  • JR Scotland

    Sounds like the big agri-lobbyists are at it again.

  • Mute

    Even given that possibility, creating a law that targets a tiny minority but effects the vast majority is no solution at all. Plus I really doubt this will stop PETA making videos.

    It reminds me of a bill being debated in the Canadian parliament right now. Ostensibly it targets internet pedophiles but it basically removes all barriers (like warrants) to the government snooping on any web or cellphone user. Of course, if you’re against the bill you’re obviously pro-pedophile. One goverment minister said you can, “stand with us or with the child pornographers.”

  • Laurajwooton

     Yeah, it will not stop PeTA. They already do most of their filming with hidden cameras. So it is not like they are above being covert.

  • Dan Howard

    Probably the most ridiculous law ever. Is this what our taxes go towards, pushing bills through that make it illegal to photograph farm animals. 

    We need some photographers in congress.

  • Eric Durr

    I agree with JR, this seems more like big Agri fighting back by hiding their food production from us. Farming needs more transparency and then maybe we could tackle the bigger issues head on. Instead nobody has a clue what’s really going into the production of the food they consume, which will only get worst now.

  • Lacy

    I’m in Utah…AND my family owns cows….AND I’m a photographer.  I invite people to come photograph our cows all they want ;) 

  • J.L. Williams

    “Officer, may I take a picture of those cows?”

    “NO! That’s against the law.”

    “How about a video?”

    “NO!! That’s even worse!”

    “Can I draw a picture of the cows?”

    “It depends. You’ll have to show me the picture, and I’ll tell you if it’s okay.”

    “Can I write a poem about the cows?”

    “Same deal. Look, we don’t allow you to do ANY of that stuff if it might be hostile to the agriculture industry.”

    “But wait, don’t I have a Constitutionally-protected right to freedom of expression?”

    “Not in THIS state you don’t. We don’t allow people to exercise their Constitutional rights if they’re going to go around being, you know, uppity. When it comes to free speech, we figure if you can’t say anything nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all.”

  • jdm8

    I doubt this would stand up in judicial review.  The problem is, if Utah’s citizens don’t stop it now, it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, to strike it down.

  • Mrbeard

    Taxiderminsts in utah will be loving this news, “rent-a-cow” anyone?

  • Justin Manteuffel

     Nope! Chuck Testa.

  • jdm8

    I forget what that technique is called, but it’s a clear emotional ploy to grab power.

  • Andréé Pinto

    Cmon people.. really? do you Americans citizens really vote in these guys? do you vote at all? this is just embarrassing for you! This is just stupid from on end to the other! Sorry to say this but I’m just embarrassed that you exist at all… And most of you just go out and say “we are the best”, “I love USA”, “We shall rule the world”..

  • Nathan Caulford

    I’d love to! I’ll bring a model release. Do I need one for each cow?!  :)

  • Nathan Caulford

    So as long as I’ve got the owner’s permission, it’s cool. The only question left in my mind is, do I need a model release for each cow?

  • Anne

    because all americans wear flag pants and scream “F*CK YEAH USA!” and live in Utah. stay classy, san diego

  • scampcat

    Careful taking a photo of that sunset and posting it on Facebook!  If there’s a cow in it, you can be arrested!