Indiana’s SB 373 heads to the full House

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.

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  • How does this bill protect the reporting of unclean conditions, improper statements about the product, mistreatment of animals and people. I can see the importance of protecting the product from people that want to produce it theirselves. The government has always protected groups that put money in their funds for election and special groups. They protect their pensions and insurance and other things the tax payer pays for. If this bill prevents people from exposing wrong doing then you can mark up another wrong doing by the government.

  • I’d like to point out that SB 373 extends beyond agriculture and also include industry such as forestry, mining, and fracking. Also that the 48hr restriction to turn collected evidence over solely to authorities or agencies restricts the ability to prove pattern of behavior/history/policy set by a company rather only an employee incident in court.

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