The article is not a substitute for legal advice. Note: this post is based on the First Print of the bill and not subsequent prints.
Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has recently seen a bill introduced
in Parliament that would create an American-style right-to-farm law. This law,
if enacted, would create a nuisance defense to NSW farms qualifying under the
law. At the same time, the bill would increase the penalties for trespass that
results in released livestock. Trespass penalties increase to a possible
three-year jail term for trespassers. The debate in this legislation is ongoing,
and we will have to wait to see if this legislation passes.
Image by Ken Lane and shows Oxbow Bend Sunrise in the Grand Teton National Park
This post is not legal advice.
Recently, a federal court of appeals reversed a lower court decision involving a data trespass law passed by Wyoming in 2015. This new trespass law created criminal and civil penalties when a person trespassed to collect resource data on private property. The court of appeals concluded that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protected the collection of data and the new trespass law was unconstitutional. Wyoming’s new trespass law did not directly speak to protecting agricultural operations; many have viewed this law as a form of an ag-gag law. As we have discussed before, although it is unconstitutional for states to adopt these laws, producers still have options to protect their operations. Continue reading →
Image of milking parlor by Living Landscape Architecture
This is not a substitute for legal advice.
Recently, the federal district court in Utah found that Utah’s ag-gag law violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (Animal Legal Defense Fund, 2017). Before this, the federal district court in Idaho had found Idaho’s ag-gag law to violate the U.S. Constitution (Idaho is currently appealing that decision before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals). Although these laws potentially violate the Constitution, producers still have options. In many cases, producers can work with producer groups to conduct audits on the operation to determine that current practices are up to date. Producers can make sure employees have the proper training and tools to conduct tasks. Always conduct background checks before hiring new employees, and utilizing employment contracts and employee handbooks can help limit many of the issues that ag-gag laws are designed to address. Continue reading →