Ag-gag charges ditched against animal activists

Update: Prosecutors will not pursue charges under Utah ag-gag law


Utah prosecutors are dropping the agricultural interference charges against four animal activists after Utah’s Circle Four Farms did not want to pursue the charges.

Last September Robert Penney, Sarah Jane Hardt, Harold Weiss and Bryan Monell were charged under Utah’s ag-gag law for driving on private property and taking photos of the hog farm owned by Smithfield Food Inc.

The four defendants filed not guilty pleas in court last week.  Although the charges under the law that make it a crime to conduct undercover investigation were dropped, the activists still face one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass, said Iron County Attorney Scott Garrett.

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