JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri House of Representatives has given initial approval of a bill that would criminalize filming undercover videos on livestock farms or facilities.

House Bill 1860 would also prevent animal activists from lying on job applications or using other false pretenses to gain access to farms or facilities. However, the bill would not prevent employees or other whistleblowers from reporting abuse.

The bill creates two new laws against agricultural crimes. Agriculture production facility fraud is defined as gaining access to an agricultural production facility by false pretenses or by knowingly making false statements on a job application to obtain access to a facility. The offense is a class B misdemeanor.

Agriculture production facility interference occurs when a person “without the consent of the facility owner, willfully produces a record of an image or sound occurring at the operation; possesses or distributes a record of an image or sound produced at the operation; exercises control over the operation with the intent to deprive the facility of an animal, crop, or property; or enters onto or remains on the facility property if he or she has notice that it is not open to the public.”

Agriculture production facility interference is a class A misdemeanor, according to the bill. Anyone violating the law could face between six month in jail or four years in prison.