Opposition To Undercover Video Bill & Annual Charity Auction
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
State HB 1104 sponsored by State Representative Joe Schmick would make it a crime to enter an agricultural production facility without the owner's consent in order to secretly record video of farming operations. The crime would be considered a gross misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. During a House Public Safety Committee Hearing this week the bill was met with strong opposition, with 18 people representing legal groups, farmworker groups, animal rights activists and concerned citizens testifying against it - nearly each one citing a fear of "criminalizing whistleblowers". Representative Schmick had this to say in response to such criticism.
SCHMICK: I know there's a lot of people, a lot of discussion about this bill and I would really like to discuss it further, so bring me language. If there's areas of this bill that need to be strengthened or changed, I am more than willing to take a look at that and to consider that so we can move this bill ahead.
Labeled as an "ag-gag" bill by its opponents HB 1104 was based on a controversial 2014 Idaho bill. It is now up to the House Committee on Public Safety to approve or reject the bill.
Once again the Gallop Stallion Service Auction will be supporting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane. More than 50 stallion services including champions of all breeds, whose stud fees generally range from $500 to $25,000, will be sold to the highest bidder. The event takes place at the Northern Quest Casino Pavilion, Airway Heights January 24. For more information visit gallopauction.com.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.