Idaho to pay $260,000 in legal fees in dairy spying lawsuit

Posted at 10:22 AM, Dec 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 12:22:56-05

Idaho will have to pay $260,000 to attorneys for animal rights groups after federal courts ruled Idaho's ban on spying at farms, dairies and slaughterhouses violated free speech rights.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued the order Friday as part of a settlement between Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and the Animal Legal Defense Fund and others.

Idaho lawmakers in 2014 passed the law making it a crime to surreptitiously videotape agriculture operations -- after the state's $2.5 billion dairy industry complained that videos of cows being abused at a dairy two years earlier unfairly hurt their businesses.

Animal rights activists, civil rights groups and media organizations sued. 

Winmill ruled the law unconstitutional, and the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.

Idaho officials have until Feb. 1 to approve the payment

(from Associated Press)