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Iowa Legislature 2019

DES MOINES (AP) — The Iowa Legislature has sent to the governor a bill designed to prosecute people who get hired at a farm or puppy mill in order to record animal living conditions.

The bill creates a trespass charge for undercover investigators at such operations. The bill, approved by the Senate 41-8 and the House 65-32, now goes to Gov. Kim Reynolds. A spokesman said she intends to sign it.

Approval comes two months after a federal judge struck down an ag-gag law passed in 2012 because it violated free-speech rights of undercover investigators. That ruling is on appeal.

The 2012 law was approved after animal welfare groups videotaped practices they claimed were abusive toward livestock and then publicized the images.

Republican Sen. Ken Rozenboom said the new bill is more narrowly focused on those who use deception to intentionally cause harm to an operation.

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State house reporter for The Courier/Lee Enterprises.

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