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Utah's "Ag Gag" Law on Tuesday's Access Utah

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Animal welfare activists filed a lawsuit Monday, challenging Utah’s “Ag Gag” law. We'll revisit a debate from May when, in the first test in the nation of an “Ag Gag” law, a Utah woman was charged for using her cell phone to film a slaughterhouse. Charges against Amy Meyer were subsequently dropped.  Under Utah’s law (H.B. 187) passed in 2012, it is illegal to film an agricultural operation while trespassing or entering the premises on false pretenses. What do you think? Do surreptitious whistle blowers at farms and slaughterhouses provide a needed service or are they public nuisances? Do you think Utah’s “Ag Gag” law is a necessary protection or an infringement on citizens’ rights?

Amy Meyer says that she became an animal rights activist and vegan after learning about the conditions in factory farms and that people deserve to know where their food is coming from. Supporters of the law say that these secret recordings do nothing to help the public and that if a person suspects wrongdoing at an agricultural operation the proper step is to contact law enforcement. Our guests include: Sterling Brown, Vice President of Public Policy with the Utah Farm Bureau; Vandhana Bala, General Counsel with Mercy for Animals, Attorney Stewart Gollan and Amy Meyer. You can comment here, on our Utah Public Radio Facebook page, or by email and we'll read your comment on-air Tuesday between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m.

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.