On 20th March 2024, Kansa’s House of Representatives passed a new bill aimed at stopping investigations of animal agriculture facilities, which is a new Ag-Gag law as the last one was scrapped by the Court of Appeals. House Bill 2816, was approved with 99-24 votes by the Kansas House after five minutes of debate, and now it will go to the Kansas Senate. Under the new law, criminal penalties were clarified and provisions to block the use of drones and aircraft below 500 feet directly above agriculture businesses were added.

Kansas was the state that passed the first Ag-Gag law in the US trying to prevent animal rights investigators from exposing what happens in farms. That was  K.S.A. 47-1825 – 1830 passed in 1990. In 2021 it was ruled unconstitutional and struck down by the Tenth Circuit, affirming a lower court ruling that had struck it down previously. When signed into law by Republican Gov. Mike Hayden in 1990, he said the legislation was a direct response to damage perpetrated by “radical elements of the animal-rights movement”, and was precisely this targeted approach against one point of view that led to the scrapping of the law. In 2022, The US Supreme Court declined to review the Court of Appeals’ unravelling of the Farm Animal and Field Crop and Research Facilities Protection Act. Because of that, a new bill was presented that has now been passed in the House. This one has a different wording avoiding language about “intent to damage” and “effective consent” that helped to undermine the 1990 statute.

Under House Bill 2816, Kansas would make it illegal to enter or remain in animal facilities or field crop production areas without the permission of the owner or to knowingly make false statements on an employment application to gain access to those places. The same standards would apply to agriculture research areas controlled by private, university, federal, state or local government entities.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.