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Associated Press, Published March 17 2013

Bills seek end to farm animal abuse videos

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — State legislators across the country are introducing laws making it harder for animal welfare advocates to investigate cruelty and food safety cases.

Some bills make it illegal to take photographs at a farming operation. Others make it a crime for someone such as an animal welfare advocate to lie on an application to get a job at a plant.

Bills pending in California, Nebraska and Tennessee require that anyone collecting evidence of abuse turn it over to law enforcement within 24 to 48 hours — which advocates say does not allow enough time to document illegal activity under federal humane handling and food safety laws.

Critics say the bills are an effort to deny consumers the ability to know how their food is produced.