In 2012, an undercover investigation by animal rights activists from the organization Mercy for Animals revealed horrific animal abuse at Bettencourt Dairies, one of Idaho's largest dairy operations. The video showed workers beating, stomping on and even sexually abusing cows.
The video prompted widespread backlash, both from animal activists and from the state's dairymen - in response to the video, the Dairy industry drafted the ag-gag bill which was signed into law in February by Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter.
"Instead of making much needed reforms, the industry's' response has been to try to keep Americans in the dark by pushing anti-whistleblower ag-gag bills," Dominguez said.
But that hasn't been true in all states. In fact in the nine states that rejected ag-gag legislation, there was more input from other industries, meaning the livestock industries had less power, according to Matt Dominguez of The Humane Society of the United States' Farm Animal Protection division.
"In all of the other states, the matchup was more fair - though not even," Dominguez told The Dodo. He said that lobbyists fighting against ag-gag bills have a fighting chance in these states.