Sunday, April 07, 2013

TN GOP Lawmakers Draft Pro Animal Abuse Law

Does Tennessee Rep. Andy Holt, a hog and cattle farmer, have something to hide?  The GOP lawmaker wants to outlaw serious undercover investigations into animal abuse.  If the GOP lawmaker has his way, the crime of animal abuse will be trumped by the new crime of documenting animal abuse. 

The New York Times tells us that disgusting GOP bills like this are cropping up across the country and are inspired, or dictated and paid for, by ultra right-wing ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council).(See ALEC Exposed)

Once again, Tennessee lawmakers are on the side of the bad guys:
 A bill that would end long-term, undercover video recording of animal abuse — like one famously used to convict Tennessee Walking Horse abuser Jackie McConnell last year — is moving through the Tennessee House and Senate this session.

 It would require people who purposefully videotape suspected animal abuse to turn their videos over to law enforcement within 48 hours of the incident. Some undercover investigators have documented abuse over weeks or months in order to show a pattern.   The sponsor of House Bill 1191, Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden [is] a hog and cattle farmer.....

 Long-term, undercover investigations are valuable tools to expose abuse and illegal activities at farms and stables, said Matthew Dominguez, a Humane Society policy manager. “Rather than cleaning up bad behavior, they want to criminalize those who would expose bad behavior and keep the American public in the dark,” he said. “It reconfirms what we already know — they have a lot to hide.”

 The sponsor of Senate Bill 1248, the companion legislation, is Sen. Dolores Gresham, R-Somerville.

 New York Times: Taping of Farm Cruelty Is Becoming the Crime

The Tennessean:  Bill would limit undercover investigations of animal abuse 

 ALEC Exposed