Idaho Gov. Butch Otter signs controversial 'ag gag' bill into law

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Idaho's controversial "Ag-gag" bill is now law.

Gov. Butch Otter signed the bill Friday and takes effect immediately.

The bill makes it illegal for animal rights activists to videotape dairies and farm properties without the consent of the owner. Anyone convicted of the crime could spend up to a year in prison and face fines up to $5,000.

"Senate Bill 1337 is about agriculture producers being secure in their property and their livelihood," Otter said in a statement. "My signature today reflects my confidence in their desire to responsibly act in the best interest of the animals on which that livelihood depends."

"No animal rights organization cares more or has more at stake than Idaho farmers and ranchers do in ensuring that their animals are healthy, well treated and productive."

KBOI 2News spoke with the Humane Society of the United States earlier this week, which strongly opposes the bill.

"The fact that the Idaho Legislature just passed an Ag-gag bill makes it crystal clear that the abuse found at the Bettencourt Dairies was just the tip of the iceberg," Matthew Dominguez, the Humane Society's spokesman said. "It's pretty sad to see the lengths that the dairy industry would go to cover up this abuse."

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