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Industry foe charged under Iowa’s new food trespassing law

In this February 2021 photo provided by Matt Johnson is animal rights activist Johnson, a...
In this February 2021 photo provided by Matt Johnson is animal rights activist Johnson, a researcher with the group Direct Action Everywhere. Johnson, a leading foe of the livestock industry, has been charged with trespassing at a pig facility in Iowa, the first case brought under the state's latest so-called "ag-gag" law. (Matt Johnson via AP)(Matt Johnson | AP)
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 9:31 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An animal rights activist whose investigations have made him a leading foe of the livestock industry has been charged with trespassing at a pig facility. It’s the first case brought under Iowa’s latest so-called ag-gag law.

Matthew Johnson is charged with trespassing at a food operation for his presence Feb. 5 at an Iowa Select Farms sow operation in Dows.

Investigators say surveillance video captured Johnson approach one of the buildings and try to pull a door to determine if it was locked before running away.

Under the law signed by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds in June, trespassing at a food operation is an aggravated misdemeanor that carries up to two years in prison.

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