Senate Bill 373, the bill that would make it illegal to photograph, videotape or record agricultural operations without consent passed out of the House Ag Committee this morning.
Bob Kraft, Indiana Farm Bureau’s director of state government relations says the committee heard testimony a week ago and at that point chose not to vote on it.
Bill Friend, the House sponsor of the bill presented an amendment that would make it a crime to obtain employment at a farm under false pretenses. “This is particularly important for agriculture because there have been instances of planted spies, if you will, who work for the animal rights organizations securing employment on livestock facilities here in the state of Indiana,” he says. “The other part of Friend’s amendment removes a requirement that was originally in the bill that made it a misdemeanor to distribute, disseminate, or transfer the image that was taken. Kraft says this was offered to address some of the concerns about First Amendment rights.
Kraft says the bill passed out of Committee with the amendment by a 9-3 vote. “It will now go to the full House,” he says. “Once it goes through the House it is returned to the full Senate because it will have been changed.”
Once it returns to the Senate – the Senate author can file a motion to concur with the House changes or can file to descent from the changes.
In this case, Kraft says, he thinks he will “file to concur”.
Indiana Farm Bureau provided the audio for this story.