From Rep. Lee Hein’s newsletter:

On Tuesday, March 12, 2019, both Chambers of the Iowa Legislature approved Senate File 519 by bi-partisan votes. 41-aye to 8-nays in the Senate and 65-aye to 32-nay vote in the House. SF 519 creates new agricultural production facility trespass provisions that specifies certain offenses relating to agricultural production operations that cause economic damage or other injury are illegal. Those offenses include sabotage, adulterations, and destruction of property such as agricultural crops or animals.

The measure provides for a criminal offense of agricultural production facility trespass that involves the use of deception to obtain access to a facility not open to the public with an intent to cause physical or economic harm or other injury to the facility’s operation, property or persons. The offense may include obtaining by deception with intent to harm the operation, property, person.

The legislation is similar to aspects of an Idaho law that has withstood a federal Court challenge. This legislation is of great interest to Iowa’s livestock and food processing industry as fraudulent trespass could result in the introduction of catastrophic animal diseases such as foot and mouth, or African Swine Fever. Either disease could cause billions of dollars of economic damage to Iowa farms, businesses and employees and would likely be ten to fifty larger impact than the avian influenza outbreak of a few years ago