Food Safety News reports that the Idaho House supports a bill that would make trespassing and filming agricultural operations without permission of the owner illegal.
Senate Bill 1337 was set to go to Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter for his signature.
After three-and-a-half hours of testimony on Feb. 21, the House Agriculture Affairs Committee on a 13-to-1 vote sent the Agriculture Protection Act containing what are called "ag-gag" provisions to the House floor with its overwhelming approval.
Food Safety News reports that the hearing pitted state and national animal-welfare activists against a solid wall of Idaho agriculture representatives. The committee's favorable action on the bill was never really in doubt, said reporter Dan Flynn.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) sent in its top public policy manager, Matt Dominguez, to Boise in a last-minute attempt to prevent S. 1337 from reaching the House floor.
"The Humane Society is not out to end animal agriculture at all," Dominguez assured the Idaho House committee. "We support farmers who treat their animals humanely," he said.
In addition to the Idaho Dairymen's Association, which put the weight of the state's $2.5-billion dairy industry behind the bill, other ag organizations testified in favor of the bill on Thursday.
Strong statements of support also came from representatives of Idaho's $500-million seed industry who said they are concerned about damage to genetically engineered seed research plots like the incidents that occurred recently in Oregon.