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Australia seeks to stop animal rights groups with tough video laws

Published on Jul 25, 2014 2:55 PM

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Australia is considering tougher laws to stop animal rights activists secretly filming on farms and abattoirs and airing the videos in an effort to protect a multi-million dollar livestock trade, a move rights groups say will hide abuse.

South Australia state is furthest along with a draft law before parliament that would impose heavy fines and a three-year jail term for secretly recording animal cruelty images.

Seven US states have introduced "Ag Gag" laws to make it illegal to take photos or videos at farms or slaughterhouses without the operators' permission. US rights groups say the "Ag Gag" laws violate the constitutional rights to free speech.

Livestock producers in Australia say current trespass laws are not effective in preventing or prosecuting animal rights groups who covertly film or photograph on farms and threaten the livelihood of farmers.

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