Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed the bill that could result in penalties on animal rights activists who pose as employees or attempt to get inside agricultural production facilities in other ways to expose possible animal cruelty.
Iowa action could set a precedent for other agricultural states as it is the largest U.S. producer of corn and soybeans, has the largest number of hogs and the sixth-largest cattle herd.
"If somebody comes on somebody else's property through fraud or deception or lying, that is a serious violation of people's rights and people should be held accountable for that," Branstad told reporters on Monday.
Branstad said the new law would not affect whistleblowers, employees who see something and report it.
The law, in a major farming state, has outraged a leading animal rights group known for its controversial tactics to expose animal cruelty, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which said it may mount a court challenge and threatened a possible boycott of Iowa.
Reprinted in part from Reuters