Golden Gate University Law Review


This Comment argues that ag-gag laws are roadblocks to the creation, enforcement, and expansion of animal cruelty laws. Part I provides background on the development of farming, current farming conditions, and the implications of farm conditions for consumers. It also gives a brief history of undercover investigative reporting and the ag-gag laws that have followed. Part II explains how ag-gag laws prevent the creation of effective animal welfare statutes by limiting the public awareness that leads directly to the establishment of new anti-cruelty measures. Part III explains that ag-gag legislation obstructs the enforcement of animal welfare statutes because these measures stymie the undercover investigations vital to the prosecution of animal abuse. Part IV explains that ag-gag laws hinder the expansion of anti-cruelty laws because without evidence of animal abuse, there would be no need to change existing law.

Throughout this Comment, California is used as a model state in this arena because of its opposition to ag-gag laws and its recent passage of a strong anti-cruelty statute in response to undercover investigations.