George Steinmetz Arrested Taking Photos Of Kansas Feedlot

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Finney Country Sheriff Kevin Bascue told AP the two men were charged because they didn’t have permission to take off from private property and hadn’t told anyone they intended to take photos… The sheriff didn’t mention Kansas’ ag gag law, the Farm Animal and Field Crop and Research Facilities Protection Act, which became the nation’s first when it was signed into law in 1990. The law bars individuals from entering and photographing an animal facility not open to the public.

via HuffPo.

There Are 5 Comments On This Article.

  1. Maddening. I also just love how contorted the language of the “ag gag” law is – as if it were in place to ‘protect’ the animals and the crops… What a load of manure.

  2. It is important to enable the free flow of information.

    Special laws like those in Kansas that prohibit e.g. photography of animal facilities: is this still constitutional? This law went into effect because certain farmers would like to mistreat their animals without others being allowed to collect proof of it against them. It is a blatant case of special interest distorting the judicial system.

    Farmers take money from tax payers – they should be required to allow tax payers on their land. If they do want to isolate themselves from the outside world, then they should also isolate themselves from public money.

    This arrest cold backfire – because it attracts attention. I am very curious about the National Geographic food issue.

    Bottom line: $270 bail, and great advertising effect for the work of the photographers and National Geographic.

  3. john mcd.

    Robert Wilde hits the nail on the head. Hopefully the publicity generated by the fact that it was a well-known photographer working for an American institution like the Geographic will mean this blows up in their faces in Kansas. But shudder to think where this casual erosion of our freedom will lead. Photography is NOT a crime, but there certainly seem to be no shortage of people who would like to make it one.