A federal appeals court has blocked enforcement of provisions in a Kansas law that bans the secret filming at slaughterhouses and other livestock facilities, finding that the statute seeks to stifle speech critical of animal agriculture.
A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that even if deception is used to enter private property, Kansas may not discriminate based on whether the person intends to harm or help the enterprise.
Kansas’ “ag-gag” law made it a crime for anyone to take a picture or video at animal facilities without the owner’s consent, or to enter them under false pretenses.
Stephen Wells, executive director for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, called the decision a victory for animals throughout the state.
The Kansas attorney general’s office said that it is reviewing the court’s “disappointing decision.”
It said it will determine its next steps in the weeks ahead.