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tsiya

A Law With Unintended Consequences?

A bill has been introduced in the Florida Senate regarding photographing farm land. You could concievably be arrested on a felony charge if you photograph a hawk sitting on a wire over a hayfield. The text describes "entering" a farm but unless it specifically excludes photographing from a public road there will be wildlife photographers and landscape photographers being charged as felons.

If you're not a Florida resident call anyway, tell them you are coming as a tourist.

Please contact Senator Norman's office and let him know how you feel about this.

http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2011/1246

http://www.flsenate.gov/senators/s12

Section 1. (1) A person who enters onto a farm or other 10 property where legitimate agriculture operations are being 11 conducted without the written consent of the owner, or an 12 authorized representative of the owner, commits a felony of the 13 first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, 14 or s. 775.084, Florida Statutes. 15

(2) A person who photographs, video records, or otherwise 16 produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at 17 or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture 18 operations are being conducted without the written consent of 19 the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits 20 a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 21 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, Florida Statutes. 22

(3) As used in this section, the term "farm" includes any 23 tract of land cultivated for the purpose of agricultural 24 production, the raising and breeding of domestic animals, or the 25 storage of a commodity. 26

Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.
bieramar

Making both Section 1. (1) "trespassing" and (2) "photographing" 1st degree felonies is utter bullcrap.

Contact your congresspersons early and often!
tsiya

I haven't been able to find out who is behind this. I can understand not just entering anyone's land at will but the way this sounds you could be busted for driving on 207 and photographing a tater patch out if the car window.

This is one of those cases where common sense should preclude abuse, but I keep running into cops who have no common sense! Very Happy
bieramar

The Bill is sponsored by Republican Jim Norman of Tampa, who receives major contributions from the factory farm lobby.

The intent of the proposed law is to prevent animal rights advocates from photographing the conditions under which food animals are raised on factory farms.  

Remember - the Florida State Constitution was amended by a majority of the citizens a few years ago to address pregnant pig pens!
tsiya

I've made this issue go viral, it's posted on every wildlife photographers forum I'm active on, and that is quite a few.

I won't trespass but I'll be damned if anyone is going to tell me I can't use my cameras from a public road.

I don't know how much response I'll generate but I've put the word out.

I'm no longer able to walk far, I can't roam Guana like I once could, I depend on public roads and trails where my mobility scooter will run to provide models. I'm not alone in this, maybe more photographers will jump in and raise some Hell.
bieramar

tsiya wrote:
I've made this issue go viral, it's posted on every wildlife photographers forum I'm active on, and that is quite a few.
I'll be damned if anyone is going to tell me I can't use my cameras from a public road. I don't know how much response I'll generate but I've put the word out.


And good on you - as of a few moments ago more than 3,300 forums and blogs are carrying this attempt to ban photographing from public lands.

BTW it isn't "unintended" - you're being too kind - the (2) paragraph stands alone and has nothing to do with the trespassing addressed in the (1) paragraph.  

The Bill was intentionally written to stop the photographing animal factory farms, regardless of where the camera is - on land, sea or in the air, public or private.

There are many "special interest" laws proposed each year in federal and state legislatures, mainly to satisfy financial donors.  

Most don't get out of committees, but a few do and get made into law, especially if nobody raises the alarm in time.

Incidently the millionaire owners of animal factory farms (cattle, swine, fowl) already receive 78% of all federal agricultural subsidies (if you include the subsidies for grain grown for the animals' feed).
puc reducks

I did both links to speak against this idiocy and have sent them far and wide to cyberbuddies.

The Florida State Constitution should not be abused in this way. It's insanity.




[Edited to correct typo.]
tsiya

Too many politicians, and citizens, have come to view constitutions as mere formalities, end justifies the means is becoming the law of the land.

It needs to be stopped, no matter which side of the political fence it is coming from.

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