BOISE -- A bill to punish people who secretly film animal abuse at Idaho's agricultural facilities is headed to Gov. C. L. Butch Otter's desk after passing the House 56-14.
It's a response to videos released by activists who filmed workers at Bettencourt Dairy beating, stomping, and sexually abusing cows.
If Otter signs the bill into law, people who try to record such abuse face up to a year in jail--double the maximum punishment for animal cruelty.
Utah has a similar ag gag law, currently being challenged in U.S. District Court.
Backers say they want to protect farmers from activists with agendas who sneaking onto their property.
Opponents argue pulling the curtain over one industry makes Idaho look like it has something to hide, and will make it tougher to prove abuse.
Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Idaho Statehouse Tuesday to speak out against the bill.
Matt Rice, the Director of Investigations with Mercy for Animals, calls the bill dangerous and says many Idahoans are outraged.
Consumers have a right to know where their food comes from and how animals on these factory farms are treated, said Rice.