published Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Tennessee State Senate passes 'Ag Gag' bill

The Tennessee State Capitol in downtown Nashville.
The Tennessee State Capitol in downtown Nashville.
Photo by The Tennessean /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE — People who shoot video or take photographs of animal cruelty will have to submit the material to law enforcement within 48 hours or face being charged with a crime under a bill approved by the Senate today.

The House is expected to take up the bill on the floor Wednesday after efforts by opponents to re-refer the bill to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee failed in the Calendar and Rules Committee on a 7-12 vote.

Similar efforts are being made in other states.

Proponents say the bill is aimed at protecting animals. But critics like the Human Society of the United States say it is really an “Ag Gag” bill aimed at blocking investigators from sound documentation of animal abuse such as that which has plagued the Tennessee walking horse industry over decades.

Those arguments played out on the Tennessee Senate floor in a sometimes testy debate today.

The House is expected to consider the bill later this week.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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