Farm trespassing bill gets House approval

FILE - In this July 9, 2009 file photo three combines harvest the winter wheat on the Cooksey farm near Roggen, Colo. Farm-state lawmakers are pushing for final passage of the massive, five-year farm bill as it heads to the House floor Wednesday — member by member, vote by vote. There are goodies scattered through the bill for members from all regions of the country: a boost in money for crop insurance popular in the Midwest; higher cotton and rice subsidies for Southern farmers; renewal of federal land payments for Western states. There are cuts to the food stamp program — $800 million a year, or around 1 percent — for Republicans who say the program is spending too much money, but they are low enough that some Democrats will support them.  (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)
FILE - In this July 9, 2009 file photo three combines harvest the winter wheat on the Cooksey farm near Roggen, Colo. Farm-state lawmakers are pushing for final passage of the massive, five-year farm bill as it heads to the House floor Wednesday — member by member, vote by vote. There are goodies scattered through the bill for members from all regions of the country: a boost in money for crop insurance popular in the Midwest; higher cotton and rice subsidies for Southern farmers; renewal of federal land payments for Western states. There are cuts to the food stamp program — $800 million a year, or around 1 percent — for Republicans who say the program is spending too much money, but they are low enough that some Democrats will support them. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana bill cracking down on trespassers who cause property damage on farms has won House approval.

State representatives on Tuesday voted 73-25 in favor of the bill, which would make trespassing on the production area of farm property a criminal offense and causing property damage to a farm an act of criminal mischief.

The measure was revised multiple times in the Senate after the Hoosier State Press Association and animal rights groups blasted it as an attempt to restrict whistleblowers on animal treatment, particularly at factory farms. Earlier versions would have banned videotaping or photography without permission.

An amendment to increase penalties for only physical damage to a farm failed last week.

The measure needs Gov. Mike Pence’s signature before becoming law.

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