The Iowa 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,…