Katherine Heigl

SALT LAKE CITY — Motion picture and television actress Katherine Heigl is calling on the Utah Senate to defeat HB187, a measure that would criminalize the videotaping or photographing agriculture operations without the permission of owners.

HB187 passed the Utah House and is before the Senate.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. John Mathis, R-Vernal, has said the measure is intended to stop animal rights groups from recording footage of alleged animal abuse.

Heigl, in a mass email to Senate members, wrote, "This bill makes our state's agricultural community seem desperate to hide illegal and inhumane treatment of animals from the public." Heigl wrote that she and husband married in Utah and have resided in the state for two years.

She added, "I hope that legislators in Utah recognize that they need to work to prevent cruelty to animals by strengthening laws, not penalizing those who are trying to expose this cruelty."