Americans count on whistleblowers—journalists, activists, and citizens—to sound an alarm when something is amiss in our nation. And yet, there are laws that actually impede whistleblowing, including so-called ag-gag laws that forbid secretly filming animal abuse in slaughterhouses and factory farms. Until Friday, six states had ag-gag laws on the books. But thanks to a federal judge's new ruling, one of those states just changed their policy: Utah.
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Activists and animal rights groups have been fighting the legislation ever since, and in 2013, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, and Amy Meyer—the director of the Utah Animal Rights Coalition, who was arrested for violating the ag-gag law shortly after it passed—challenged the law in federal court. And with U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby's 31-page decision, which came down on Friday, July 7, they won.