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Hidden Cameras on the Farm

New laws keep activists from going undercover to expose animal abuse.
2:51 | 03/16/13

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Transcript for Hidden Cameras on the Farm
Alex, thanks. We turn to an investigation that involves food on your dinner table. American farmers and the agriculture industry against the critics who say they should be allowed to video tape what happens on the farms. New laws blocking the cameras, and here's brian ross. Reporter: It's a glamorous celebrity-packed awards event he would in beverly hills. These are the genesis awards given by the humane society o the united states. And often honor graphic, undercover videos of animal cruelty and mistreatment at FACTORYd Wayne, the head of the humane SOCIETY SAYS SUCH UNDERCOVER9qNQU)QQju HAVE Been the key to tough, new anticruelty law. This led to the largest meat recall in american history. And this one which showed a major pork producer. But all of that could be coming to an end. Under pressure from the agriculture industry, at least five states now have laws making it a crime to go undercover on farm properties to record videos. In iowa, the law passed just a few months after an abc news report which won a genesis award, featuring undercover footage at a huge iowa egg factory, taped bit gro mercy for animals. If somebody come on somebody els property through fraud or deception or lying, that is a serious violation of people's rights. Reporter: And agriculture lobbying groups have used influence and money to try to expand the ban. They cite what happened to dairy farmers inday. An undercover investigator got a job at the huge dairy corporation last year and made these disturbing videos of fellow workers handling the cattle, including the electric prods. They are fired. Even the owners agree it was a damning video. That's animal cruelty. Reporter: Be they claim they had no idea of the mistreatment until authorities told them about the video. And they began to get phone and e-mail death threats. Killing me, killing my kids, killing my grandkids. Reporter: Agriculture lobbyists claim that the agenda is not really the humane treatment of animals, but instead getting publicity, promoting a vegan lifestyle. They concede they are now using the video they so object to to train employees in their zero tolerance policy for cruelty. There's some good from this? Yeah. Reporter: But not enough in the view of farm lobbyists to stop the efforts that have made undercover taping on farms illegal in five states. Brian ross, abc news, new york.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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