Supporters of the legislation, including the Iowa Farm Bureau, say the bills do not infringe on First Amendment rights because they focus only on "the lying" done by activists and other individuals who "fraudulently gain access to a farm with intent to cause harm."
"I don't know what greater good can ever come from lying," said Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Hill last year.
In Utah, one of the bill's sponsors, Sen. David Hinkin, said, "If I was to say I think that some lady's abusing her husband and I want to go hide cameras in her house, is that right?"
Animal activists groups say the laws do, indeed, interfere with freedom of speech and they intend to challenge the laws in court.
"Agribusiness interests, rather than trying to prevent cruelty to animals, are trying to prevent the public from seeing what's going on on factory farms in the United States," said the Humane Society's Pacelle. "You will never stop the abuse if you shut the cameras down."