Arkansas governor signs bill allowing lawsuits over videos

Staff Writer

LITTLE ROCK(AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed into law a bill allowing companies to sue anyone who shares secretly made videotape aimed at harming a business owner. The bill was set up to target animal rights activists but opponents say it goes too far and could threaten nearly all whistleblowers.

The animal rights group Mercy for Animals says Hutchinson bowed "to pressure from corporate factory farming interests," and the group PETA said the law will penalize people who document cruelty in the industrial meat industry, puppy mills, laboratories, and other facilities, including child abuse in daycare facilities.

Sen. Gary Stubblefield says other laws protect those who expose illegal practices and that the law targets people who obtain material from nonpublic areas of commercial property and release it to harm the owner.

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