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‘Ag-Gag’ Bill Introduced in the Washington State Legislature

A draft agriculture interference bill, which critics call an “ag-gag” proposal, has been introduced in the Washington State House of Representatives. The state’s annual legislative session was called to order Monday in Olympia.

House Bill 1104, sponsored by state Reps. Joe Schmick (R-Colfax) and and J.T. Wilcox (R-Yelm), has been all but promised a hearing by state Rep. Brian Blake, the Aberdeen Democrat who chairs the House Agriculture Committee.

HB 1104 appears to be the first bill of its kind to be introduced for consideration in a 2015 legislative session. After federal district court judges in two different circuits agreed to hear constitutional challenges to “ag-gag” laws enacted by Idaho and Utah, some predicted that other states would wait to see if such measures are legal.

But the Washington state bill would enact language of the sort that has caused critics to challenge “ag-gag” laws. HB 1104 states that the guilty includes anyone who “enters an agricultural production facility that is not open to the public and, without the facility owner’s express written consent or pursuant to judicial process or clear statutory authorization, makes audio or video recordings of the assets or conduct of an agricultural production facility’s operations … .”

Conviction under Section 1 of HB 1104 would be a gross misdemeanor under Washington state law. Penalties could include up to one year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.

While Blake said he’d like the proposal to get a hearing, he called it an “interesting and potentially difficult bill.” HB 1104 had initially been assigned to the House Public Safety Committee, not Agriculture.

Schmick, whose district is adjacent to Idaho, acknowledges that he tailored HB 1104 on the Gem State’s new law. He says he wants a “strong deterrent” against taking pictures or recording operations of agricultural facilities without permission.

The first such laws were adopted in 1990-91 in Kansas, North Dakota and Montana. Four more states have adopted similar measures since 2010, including Idaho, Utah, Iowa and Missouri.

Animal-rights groups that use undercover agents to collect evidence to advance their cases have opposed ag-gag measures, both in the legislative process and in federal courts.

State legislatures are just getting underway for 2015. As of yesterday, Washington was one of 29 states with legislatures in session. According to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures, 44 states will be making new laws by end of the month.

© Food Safety News
  • Cheryl Bowe

    House Bill 1104, sponsored by state Reps. Joe Schmick (R-Colfax) and and J.T. Wilcox (R-Yelm), has been all but promised a hearing by state Rep. Brian Blake, the Aberdeen Democrat who chairs the House Agriculture Committee ……..How does garbage like this gain momentum so fast? Other worthy considerations get lost and die.

    • Jan Whitefoot

      Dairy industry has a lot of money for lobbyists; there is no concern for those of us suffering from factory farm pollution.

  • AG-GAG LAWS are what happens when you let the industry govern the laws i.e.
    USDA inc $$$

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

    IDAHO RECALL LIST MASSIVE FROM DEAD STOCK DOWNER CANCER COWS OFFAL from
    Class I Recall 002-2014 and 013-2014 Health Risk: High Jan 13, 2014 and Feb 8,
    2014 shipped to Texas, Florida, and Illinois UPDATE FEBRUARY 14, 2014

    http://downercattle.blogspot.com/2014/03/texas-recall-list-massive-from-dead.html

    Friday, April 26, 2013

    INDIANA Republican State Sen. Travis Holdman Senate Bill 373 ag-gag WILL
    PUT HUMANS AT RISK

    http://madcowusda.blogspot.com/2013/04/indiana-republican-state-sen-travis.html

    Firm initiated recall is complete. REASON Products manufactured from bulk
    feed containing blood meal that was cross contaminated with prohibited meat and
    bone meal and the labeling did not bear cautionary BSE statement.

    VOLUME OF PRODUCT IN COMMERCE 9,997,976 lbs. DISTRIBUTION ID and NV

    END OF ENFORCEMENT REPORT FOR MARCH 21, 2007

    http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/EnforcementReports/2007/ucm120446.htm

    Tuesday, December 23, 2014

    FDA PART 589 — SUBSTANCES PROHIBITED FROM USE IN ANIMAL FOOD OR FEED
    VIOLATIONS OFFICIAL ACTION INDICATED OAI UPDATE DECEMBER 2014 BSE TSE PRION

    http://madcowusda.blogspot.com/2014/12/fda-part-589-substances-prohibited-from.html

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

    FDA PART 589 — SUBSTANCES PROHIBITED FROM USE IN ANIMAL FOOD OR FEED
    VIOLATIONS OFFICIAL ACTION INDICATED OIA UPDATE DECEMBER 2013 UPDATE

    http://madcowusda.blogspot.com/2013/12/fda-part-589-substances-prohibited-from.html

    *** Singeltary reply ; Molecular, Biochemical and Genetic Characteristics
    of BSE in Canada Singeltary reply ;

    http://www.plosone.org/annotation/listThread.action;jsessionid=635CE9094E0EA15D5362B7D7B809448C?root=7143

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA VS GALEN J. NIEHUES FAKED MAD COW FEED TEST ON 92
    BSE INSPECTION REPORTS FOR APPROXIMATELY 100 CATTLE OPERATIONS

    Dustin Douglass was indicted and charged with making a fraudulent
    application to the VA, in an effort to obtain benefits from injuries Douglas
    represented he suffered while deployed in Iraq. Based on his application, the VA
    provided benefits totaling $22,148.53. Douglass claimed he suffered various
    injuries and illnesses as a result of his service in combat. The investigation
    revealed Douglass had, in fact, been deployed to Iraq, but had served as a
    computer specialist, had never been in combat, and did not suffer the
    service-related injuries and illnesses he claimed to have suffered. Douglass was
    placed on supervised release for 3 years, and required to pay $22,148.53 in
    restitution. Galen Niehues, an inspector for the Nebraska Department of
    Agriculture, (NDA), was convicted of mail fraud for submitting falsified reports
    to his employer concerning inspections he was supposed to perform at Nebraska
    cattle operations. Niehues was tasked with performing inspections of Nebraska
    ranches, cattle and feed for the presence of neurological diseases in cattle
    including Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as “Mad Cow
    Disease”. Niehues was to identify cattle producers, perform on-site inspections
    of the farm sites and cattle operations, ask producers specific questions about
    feed, and take samples of the feed. Niehues was to then submit feed samples for
    laboratory analysis, and complete reports of his inspections and submit them to
    the NDA and to the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). An investigation
    by the FDA and NDA revealed Niehues had fabricated approximately 100 BSE
    inspections and inspection reports. When confronted, Niehues admitted his
    reports were fraudulent, and that had fabricated the reports and feed samples he
    submitted to the NDA. Niehues received a sentence of 5 years probation, a 3-year
    term of supervised release, and was required to pay $42,812.10 in
    restitution.

    http://www.justice.gov/usao/ne/press_releases/2011%20Annual%20Report.pdf

    http://bse-atypical.blogspot.com/2010/11/united-states-of-america-vs-galen-j.html

    The 2004 enhanced BSE surveillance program was so flawed, that one of the
    top TSE prion Scientist for the CDC, Dr. Paul Brown stated ; Brown, who is
    preparing a scientific paper based on the latest two mad cow cases to estimate
    the maximum number of infected cows that occurred in the United States, said he
    has “absolutely no confidence in USDA tests before one year ago” because of the
    agency’s reluctance to retest the Texas cow that initially tested positive.

    see ;

    http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2006/03/15/Analysis-What-that-mad-cow-means/UPI-12841142465253/

    CDC – Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Variant Creutzfeldt … Dr. Paul
    Brown is Senior Research Scientist in the Laboratory of Central Nervous System
    … Address for correspondence: Paul Brown, Building 36, Room 4A-05, …

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol7no1/brown.htm

    PAUL BROWN COMMENT TO ME ON THIS ISSUE

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006 11:10 AM

    “Actually, Terry, I have been critical of the USDA handling of the mad cow
    issue for some years, and with Linda Detwiler and others sent lengthy detailed
    critiques and recommendations to both the USDA and the Canadian Food Agency.”

    OR, what the Honorable Phyllis Fong of the OIG found ;

    Finding 2 Inherent Challenges in Identifying and Testing High-Risk Cattle
    Still Remain

    http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/50601-10-KC.pdf

    IT is of my opinion, that the OIE and the USDA et al, are the soul reason,
    and responsible parties, for Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy TSE prion
    diseases, including typical and atypical BSE, typical and atypical Scrapie, and
    all strains of CWD, and human TSE there from, spreading around the globe.

    I have lost all confidence of this organization as a regulatory authority
    on animal disease, and consider it nothing more than a National Trading
    Brokerage for all strains of animal TSE, just to satisfy there commodity. AS i
    said before, OIE should hang up there jock strap now, since it appears they will
    buckle every time a country makes some political hay about trade protocol,
    commodities and futures. IF they are not going to be science based, they should
    do everyone a favor and dissolve there organization.

    JUST because of low documented human body count with nvCJD and the long
    incubation periods, the lack of sound science being replaced by political and
    corporate science in relations with the fact that science has now linked some
    sporadic CJD with atypical BSE and atypical scrapie, and the very real threat of
    CWD being zoonosis, I believed the O.I.E. has failed terribly and again, I call
    for this organization to be dissolved. …

    Monday, May 05, 2014

    Member Country details for listing OIE CWD 2013 against the criteria of
    Article 1.2.2., the Code Commission recommends consideration for listing

    http://chronic-wasting-disease.blogspot.com/2014/05/member-country-details-for-listing-oie.html

    Friday, December 5, 2014

    SPECIAL ALERT The OIE recommends strengthening animal disease surveillance
    worldwide

    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2014/12/special-alert-oie-recommends.html

    IN A NUT SHELL ;

    (Adopted by the International Committee of the OIE on 23 May 2006)

    11. Information published by the OIE is derived from appropriate
    declarations made by the official Veterinary Services of Member Countries. The
    OIE is not responsible for inaccurate publication of country disease status
    based on inaccurate information or changes in epidemiological status or other
    significant events that were not promptly reported to the Central Bureau,

    http://www.oie.int/eng/Session2007/RF2006.pdf

    Sunday, December 28, 2014

    *** Reverse Freedom of Information Act request rFOIA FSIS USDA APHIS TSE
    PRION aka BSE MAD COW TYPE DISEASE December 2014 ***

    http://madcowusda.blogspot.com/2014/12/reverse-freedom-of-information-act.html

    Wednesday, December 31, 2014

    NASDA BSE, CWD, SCRAPIE, TSE, PRION, Policy Statements updated with
    amendments passed during the NASDA Annual Meeting Updated September 18, 2014

    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2014/12/nasda-bse-cwd-scrapie-tse-prion-policy.html

    Sunday, December 28, 2014

    CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE CWD TSE PRION DISEASE AKA MAD DEER DISIEASE USDA
    USAHA INC DECEMBER 28, 2014

    http://chronic-wasting-disease.blogspot.com/2014/12/chronic-wasting-disease-cwd-tse-prion.html

    *** HUMAN MAD COW DISEASE nvCJD TEXAS CASE NOT LINKED TO EUROPEAN TRAVEL
    CDC ***

    Sunday, November 23, 2014

    *** Confirmed Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (variant CJD) Case in Texas
    in June 2014 confirmed as USA case NOT European

    the patient had resided in Kuwait, Russia and Lebanon. The completed
    investigation did not support the patient’s having had extended travel to
    European countries, including the United Kingdom, or travel to Saudi Arabia. The
    specific overseas country where this patient’s infection occurred is less clear
    largely because the investigation did not definitely link him to a country where
    other known vCJD cases likely had been infected.

    http://vcjd.blogspot.com/2014/11/confirmed-variant-creutzfeldt-jakob.html

    Sunday, December 14, 2014

    ALERT new variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease nvCJD or vCJD, sporadic CJD
    strains, TSE prion aka Mad Cow Disease United States of America Update December
    14, 2014 Report

    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2014/12/alert-new-variant-creutzfeldt-jakob.html

    typical BSE can propagate as nvCJD and or sporadic CJD (Collinge et al),
    and sporadic CJD has now been linked to atypical BSE, Scrapie and atypical
    Scrapie, and scientist are very concerned with CWD TSE prion in cervids.

    in my opinion, the BSE MRR policy, which overtook the BSE GBR risk
    assessments for each country, and then made BSE confirmed countries legal to
    trade mad cow disease, which was all brought forth AFTER that fateful day
    December 23, 2003, when the USA lost it’s gold card i.e. BSE FREE status, that’s
    the day it all started. once the BSE MRR policy was shoved down every countries
    throat by USDA inc and the OIE, then the legal trading of Scrapie was validated
    to be a legal trading commodity, also shoved through by the USDA inc and the
    OIE, the world then lost 30 years of attempted eradication of the BSE TSE prion
    disease typical and atypical strains, and the BSE TSE Prion aka mad cow type
    disease was thus made a legal trading commodity, like it or not. it’s all about
    money now folks, trade, to hell with human health with a slow incubating
    disease, that is 100% fatal once clinical, and forget the fact of exposure,
    sub-clinical infection, and friendly fire there from i.e. iatrogenic TSE prion
    disease, the pass it forward mode of the TSE PRION aka mad cow type disease.
    it’s all going to be sporadic CJD or sporadic ffi, or sporadic gss, or now the
    infamous VPSPr. …problem solved $$$

    Terry S. Singeltary Sr.

    Texas USA 77518

    flounder9@verizon.net

  • why do we need ag gag laws ?

    http://www.upworthy.com/a-drone-flew-over-a-pig-farm-to-discover-its-not-really-a-farm-its-something-much-more-disturbing?c=huf1

    AG-GAG LAWS are what happens when you let the industry govern the laws i.e.
    USDA inc $$$

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

    IDAHO RECALL LIST MASSIVE FROM DEAD STOCK DOWNER CANCER COWS OFFAL from
    Class I Recall 002-2014 and 013-2014 Health Risk: High Jan 13, 2014 and Feb 8,
    2014 shipped to Texas, Florida, and Illinois UPDATE FEBRUARY 14, 2014

    http://downercattle.blogspot.com/2014/03/texas-recall-list-massive-from-dead.html

    Friday, April 26, 2013

    INDIANA Republican State Sen. Travis Holdman Senate Bill 373 ag-gag WILL
    PUT HUMANS AT RISK

    http://madcowusda.blogspot.com/2013/04/indiana-republican-state-sen-travis.html

    Firm initiated recall is complete. REASON Products manufactured from bulk
    feed containing blood meal that was cross contaminated with prohibited meat and
    bone meal and the labeling did not bear cautionary BSE statement.

    VOLUME OF PRODUCT IN COMMERCE 9,997,976 lbs. DISTRIBUTION ID and NV

    END OF ENFORCEMENT REPORT FOR MARCH 21, 2007

    http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/EnforcementReports/2007/ucm120446.htm

    Tuesday, December 23, 2014

    FDA PART 589 — SUBSTANCES PROHIBITED FROM USE IN ANIMAL FOOD OR FEED
    VIOLATIONS OFFICIAL ACTION INDICATED OAI UPDATE DECEMBER 2014 BSE TSE PRION

    http://madcowusda.blogspot.com/2014/12/fda-part-589-substances-prohibited-from.html

  • Stefan

    Isn’t unauthorized entry into a private facility trespassing? And isn’t there a law for that? I really wish our legislators would tackle the pressing issues such as education. WA lost federal funding last year because the folks in Olympia weren’t getting anything done.

  • Jan Whitefoot

    Industrial Ag does not want people to know how much they are polluting and destroying our land air and water. In Yakima County, WA State, with over 300,000 factory farm dairy cows, EPA found 135 nitrates in a well at a dairy cluster. Those 4 dairies had a total of 41 lagoons. They are not required to have liners.Industrial AG does not want public to see this mess. The Outlook School is on its third well, at taxpayer’s expense. No one is protecting public health! Everyone voting on this issue needs to come to Yakima Valley and go on a poop tour to see the devastation factory farming is doing to us.Yet again, we will have politicians voting on an issue they know nothing about.

  • Jan Whitefoot

    Yakima County, WA State, has become the “Toilet Bowl of the State,” because of the over 90 industrial factory dairy farms located here. Yakima County refuses to make these industrial polluters even get a building permit. Yakima County allowed a dairy lagoon put right next to citizen’s property. The case of “Mad cow” was here, yet the industry made it legal to put their dead cows in their manure and call it “Organic,” without testing it for pathogens. Dairy industry does not want their dirty big secrets out. We have not had help from one politician! Money talks!

  • Justine

    For more information on J.T.Wilcox check out LinkedIn. It’s no wonder he introduced this bill! Ethics abuse!

  • Jace

    Doesn’t this law violate our 1st amendment rights?

  • Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    ag gag laws or cover-up laws ?

    http://madcowusda.blogspot.com/2015/01/ag-gag-laws-or-cover-up-laws.html

  • WildFeyChild

    Is there a petition against this?

  • qqqqqq

    If you listen to those pushing, the law, they claim farms are “private property, just like your house”, but in fact, they’re places of business, which are not like a house.

    If you listen, they say its to stop destruction of property, but that’s already illegal. What it is really about is stopping people from knowingly entering a property to take pictures of activities which MIGHT be illegal. If you can get them prosecuted, then you didn’t commit a crime, but if the EPA opens an investigation, you’re going to be hit with a fine until they are charged. This entirely a bill to scare people from reporting illegal activity.

    Schmick is just a pawn of ALEC and is pushing anti-Citizen laws. How shameful.