Proposed Iowa legislation would restrict drone use near livestock facilities

The House is considering a bill that would restrict drone use for aerial surveillance of livestock facilities. If the bill passes, it could hurt businesses that use drones to do things like survey land, advertise agricultural real estate, and assess storm damage, among other things.

Without the permission of the landowners, the bill would make it illegal for “remotely piloted aircraft” to fly within 400 feet of a homestead or an area where agricultural animals are kept. The penalties for violators would range from a simple misdemeanor to a serious misdemeanor.

One owner of a company expressed concern over “the unintended consequences it could have on other areas of the ag industry.” Other business owners are also worried about the bill's potential unintended consequences.

On the other hand, those in favor of the bill maintain that it must be passed in order to address the valid concerns raised about aerial surveillance.

During the past few years, Republican legislators have made multiple attempts to restrict the ability of animal rights organizations to document unfavorable working conditions in livestock facilities.

Exemptions would be made available under this bill for people who work for the government or for public utilities, who monitor the weather, or who fly their drones higher than 400 feet within restricted airspace.

Even though there are exemptions, some people who fly drones are still worried that they might be breaking the law, especially if they fly their aircraft in areas with a lot of people.

Chandler Steffy, who uses drones to evaluate storm damage, expressed concern that the legislation could pose a problem in more densely populated areas, where he may have to seek permission from multiple landowners. 

However, some lawmakers argue that it is a necessary measure to protect privacy, with one representative reportedly stating, “I do have a problem with somebody thinking they have a right to fly over my place and take pictures.”

The proposed legislation was recommended by a subcommittee, and it will need approval from a full committee to be considered. A similar bill in the Iowa Senate was also recommended by a subcommittee.

Follow on your Google News feed.

Get your Part 107 Certificate

Pass the test and take to the skies with the Pilot Institute. We have helped thousands of people become airplane and commercial drone pilots. Our courses are designed by industry experts to help you pass FAA tests and achieve your dreams.

pilot institute dronexl

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. The content, images, and intellectual property on this website are protected by copyright law. Reproduction or distribution of any material without prior written permission from is strictly prohibited. For permissions and inquiries, please contact us here.

FTC: is an Amazon Associate and uses affiliate links that can generate income from qualifying purchases. We do not sell, share, rent out, or spam your email.

Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

Articles: 2577

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap
%d bloggers like this: