News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 14, 2014

Action delayed on Indiana farm trespassing bill

By SUMMER BALLENTINE
Associated Press

---- — INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana Senate committee has delayed a vote on a proposed crackdown on farm trespassers.

The bill aims to protect farmers who say that unwanted visitors could hurt their business by taking unflattering photos or sharing trade secrets. A similar bill failed last year.

Senate criminal law committee chairman Mike Young of Indianapolis says work being done preparing an amendment to the bill is behind the wait. A committee vote had been expected Tuesday.

The current bill would allow farmers to hang signs banning whatever they deem as harmful activities. Violators could face felony charges.

Animal-rights activists and others are concerned the bill could discourage whistleblowers from reporting animal cruelty on farms. Some opponents have also raised First Amendment objections.