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Ag Gag Law Going Nowhere in Washington State

SEATTLE (CN) - The sponsor of a Washington "ag gag" law, which would prohibit secret filming on farms, conceded that the bill is unlikely to pass this year.

Assemblyman J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, the bill's sponsor, told the Seattle Times: "I don't think it's going to see a place where I get to vote for it."

Seven states have passed similar laws, which provide for fines and possible jail time. They are aimed at animal rights groups.

Critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, say the laws violate the First Amendment and can be used to hide animal abuse.

Opponents claim the laws are needed to protect agriculture facilities from interference and threats of economic harm.

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