In Illinois, the "Animal Facility Bill" would make it a felony to "go undercover and make a recording at a farm facility without consent of the owner," reports Steve Tarter of the Peoria Journal Star. Vandhana Bala, lawyer for Mercy for Animals, told Tarter the bills protect "Big Ag" because the industry "doesn't want the public to know how animals are being treated." She said there are already laws in states considering the bills that protect against trespassing and invasion of privacy, and that "ag-gag" bills are unnecessary.
Joe Maxwell, spokesperson for the Humane Society of the United States, said the Iowa law is a "backward way of addressing the issue." He told Ken Anderson of Brownfield Ag News that "you wind up with horrendous outcomes" when whistleblower activity is blocked, and undercover activities might not be necessary if the industry would compromise on animal-rights issues. The HSUS was one of 27 national groups that signed a statement opposing "ag-gag" bills across the country. They contend the bills would "perpetuate" animal abuse, threaten workers' rights, consumer health and safety, and the freedom of journalists.