Arkansas Senate panel tables bill on farm recordings

Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:44 a.m.

— An Arkansas Senate committee has tabled a bill aimed at outlawing undercover investigations of farming facilities.

Lawmakers in the Senate’s Judiciary Committee deferred action on the measure Wednesday.

The bill would make it a misdemeanor to videotape livestock and poultry operations without permission from the facility’s owner. It would also make it illegal to apply for a job at a farm under false pretenses in order to gain access to the property.

The committee also tabled a bill outlawing private investigations of animal cruelty.

Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, who sponsored the bill, said he deferred action on both measures because he didn’t realize how complicated the issue was. He said he’ll hand the bill off to other lawmakers who have more experience in agriculture.