SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – U.S. District Court of Utah struck down the state’s Ag-Gag statute Friday.
The lawsuit was led by Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. (PETA).
The law made it illegal to take pictures or video at animal agricultural operations, like factory farms or slaughterhouses, without the owner’s permission.
ALDF and PETA filed the lawsuit against state of Utah in July 2013 after activist Amy Meyer, shot video of a cow being carried on a bulldozer outside a meat packaging plant in Draper.
Meyer became the first person in the nation to be prosecuted under an Ag-Gag law, although the charges were dropped after a public outcry.
The state claimed the law is needed to protect Utah’s vital farming industry, but animal rights groups say it’s designed to silence whistleblowers who want to expose cruelty against animals.
The plaintiffs in the case also said simply put the law violates their First Amendment rights and the court agreed.