Lawsuit calls Arkansas “ag-gag” law unconstitutional

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A legal advocacy organization has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging a state law that farm organizations have used to shield themselves from undercover investigations by animal rights groups.

Lawyers the Animal Legal Defense Fund and other animal rights organizations filed the suit Tuesday against state Rep. DeAnn Vaught and her husband, who own a pig farm, and Peco Foods, an Alabama-based poultry farm with Arkansas facilities.

The suit argues that the 2017 law barring undercover investigations at private businesses like large farms violates the First Amendment to the Constitution by banning a form of speech.

The organizations are suing the Vaughts’ farm and Peco because the legislation does not allow state agencies to enforce the law.

A federal judge struck down a similar Iowa law in January.

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