Senator Norman of Florida State wants to make it a criminal offence to record footage of a "farm or other property where legitimate agricultural operations are being conducted without the consent of the owner".
If his bill goes through, it'll become illegal to photograph farms, even as part of the general landscape.
Senator Norman has allegedly admitted that the main purpose of the bill is to prevent animal welfare groups exposing the inhumane conditions of factory farms in the area. If the ban goes ahead it would also breach Constitutional rights to free expression for the public, as well as leaving the cruelty within covered up.
Joyce D'Silva, Director of Public Affairs questions the motives behind the ban:
"What is it that these farmers are trying to hide? There are obvious bio-security risks associated with allowing people on to farms, but to propose a ban on photography from the outside seems ridiculous.
"If animal welfare is at an acceptable standard on these premises, I see no reason why anyone would want to stop photographs being taken both on the farm itself and in the surrounding area. If the doors of the factory farm were open to view, I expect the majority of people would immediately reject products from animals kept in such conditions."
- You can sign the petition and help Compassion in World Farming protect photographers who expose animal abuses here.