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Missouri bill criminalizes undercover videos at farms

By The Associated Press

This article was published April 17, 2012 at 12:20 p.m.

— The Missouri House has endorsed legislation seeking to make it a crime for undercover activists to produce videos portraying poor conditions at agricultural facilities.

The legislation given first-round approval Tuesday would create the crime of “agriculture production facility interference.” The crime would apply to people who produce or distribute photos, videos or audio recordings of the activities at an agricultural facility without the consent of the owner.

The bill also would make it a crime for people to gain employment or access at agricultural facilities under false pretenses.

Supporters said the measure is needed to stop undercover activists who produce propaganda against agriculture, particularly where livestock are being raised or slaughtered.

Opponents of the bill said some of those undercover investigations have helped improve conditions at agricultural facilities.

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