No “ag gag” law for Tennessee

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click image to zoomVeto Tennessee’s so-called “ag gag” bill drew fire from clergy and celebrities alike, and on Monday Gov. Bill Haslam vetoed the bill that would have required evidence of animal abuse be turned over to law enforcement within 24 hours.

Haslam opted to veto the bill for three reasons, stated in a news release:

  1. The Attorney General says the law is constitutionally suspect.
  2. It appears to repeal parts of Tennessee’s Shield Law.
  3. Some district attorneys warned that it would make it more difficult to prosecute animal cruelty cases.

Despite his veto, Haslam reaffirmed his commitment to agricultural producers in the state.

“Agriculture is the No. 1 industry in Tennessee. Farmers play a vital role in our state’s economy, heritage and history. I understand their concerns about large scale attacks on their livelihoods. I also appreciate that the types of recordings this bill targets may be obtained at times under false pretenses, which I think is wrong,” Haslam said.

Read the full statement here.

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kansas  |  May, 14, 2013 at 04:40 PM

Another perfect example of what happens when you allow your enemies (and they are enemies, not just the poorly informed with good intentions) control the message. Typical of our industries' representative organizations, they push for some basic reasonable legislation that will serve both animals and business well by forcing extremists to be honest and forthcoming with allegations of abuse - rather than allowing animals to continue to be abused while they seek an ideal time to suit their own fundraising and self-aggrandizement. However, they fail to follow-up with required public-relations and accurate characterizations in the opponent-biased media, letting the far more clever and devious reps of the enemy rebrand the legislation as free-speech "oppression" combined with apriori cover-ups. We NEED better quality people to represent us!

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