Brubaker Measure Would Protect Agricultural Operations
HARRISBURG - Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-36) introduced legislation today that
would protect Pennsylvania agricultural operations by prohibiting unauthorized
photos and video recordings.
Senate Bill 1596 would require individuals to obtain the owner's permission
before taking any photos or recordings on the premises. The bill would add
individuals who take photos or video on a farm without the owner's consent to
the list of agricultural trespassers.
The legislation stems from an incident in Brubaker's district that involved
an activist group targeting a laying hen operation for an exposť featuring an
unauthorized video filmed by an undercover employee. Despite the fact that three
independent inspectors found health and safety conditions of the operation were
at or above industry-best practices immediately following the incident, the
accusations still placed a heavy burden on the business.
Under current law, there is no recourse for farm owners to protect their
operation from an individual who takes photos or records video on their property
"This is not the first time that a local business has been unfairly targeted
by activists, but this case serves as a startling example of the kind of damage
that unfounded accusations can create," Brubaker said. "It is important to
ensure agricultural operations comply with necessary health and safety
standards, but that doesn't mean these businesses should be forced to endure all
sorts of harmful, unverified allegations."
Violators of the law would be guilty of a third-degree misdemeanor.