Today, my office, along with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Center for Food Safety, Public Justice, and Kansas advocacy groups Shy 38 and Hope Sanctuary, filed a lawsuit challenging Kansas’s Ag-Gag law. Like Ag-Gag laws in other states, the Kansas law criminalizes undercover investigations at factory farms and slaughterhouses, silencing animal rights activists and ensuring animal cruelty, unsafe food safety practices, environmental hazards, and inhumane working conditions go unreported. The lawsuit contends that Kansas’s Ag Gag law violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
My office, along with other members of the coalition, have already been successful in striking down Ag-Gag laws in Idaho and Utah as unconstitutional, and we are litigating challenges to similar laws in Iowa and North Carolina.
Undercover investigations are one of the few ways for the public to receive critical information about animal agriculture operations. A 2012 consumer survey conducted by Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Department of Animal Sciences found that the public relies on the information gathered and presented by animal protection groups and investigative journalists more than they rely on industry groups and the government combined.
View the complaint here.