Keep Food Legal receives many inquiries about our stance on various issues. As a result, we have begun to create a series of policy stances that will eventually make up a handy FAQ (frequently asked questions) file. We will post these policy statements, which we've dubbed On the Issues, over the next several weeks. In the fourth such post, below, we present our stance on various state bills seeking to ban farm photography. You can read our previous On the Issues posts on GMOs here, on school food here, and on endangered species and Keep Food Legal's affiliations here.
Ongoing state efforts to ban photography of farm animals—usually drafted under the guise of protecting agricultural producers—are overbroad and unconstitutional. If an individual or group is trespassing on or otherwise sabotaging a farm operation, then that individual or group can and should face civil suit and/or criminal charges. Photography, though, is a separate issue. One need not support the means or goals of animal rights groups to recognize that members of these groups should enjoy the same First Amendment freedoms as everyone else.