» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News
X

Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 128 | NO. 77 | Friday, April 19, 2013

House Barely Approves Animal Abuse Reporting Bill

AP

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Comments ()

NASHVILLE (AP) – A bill seeking to require anyone recording or taking photos of livestock abuse to turn images over to law enforcement within 48 hours was approved in the House on Wednesday with the bare vote minimum needed.

The chamber voted 50-43 to approve the measure sponsored by Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, after defeating several proposed amendments and an extensive debate that at times featured lawmakers making animal noises.

Bills must gain at least 50 votes in the 99-member chamber to pass. The measure now heads to Gov. Bill Haslam, who said earlier this week that he didn't know enough about the measure to say whether he would sign it into law.

Animal protection activists like the Humane Society of the United States have said the bill would have a chilling effect on whistleblowers and prevent undercover operations from establishing a pattern of abuse.

In 2011, the Humane Society secretly filmed video inside a Tennessee Walking Horse stable showing trainers applying caustic substances to the horses' legs and beating them to make them stand.

Trainer Jackie McConnell, whose stable was in Senate sponsor Dolores Gresham's West Tennessee district, pleaded guilty in federal court in September.

The Senate version passed 22-9 on Tuesday.

Rep. Vance Dennis, R-Savannah, objected to the bill during the Wednesday debate, calling it unenforceable and "Orwellian."

"If you walk down the street and see someone commit a murder and you don't report it, that's not a crime," he said, "but under your bill, if you see and record animal abuse and don't report it, that is a crime."

Among the failed amendments proposed on Wednesday was one that would have broadened it to require anyone observing animal abuse to report it and not limiting the reporting requirements to a person intentionally recording or photographing the abuse.

Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, tried to amend the bill to specify that news reporters would be protected from prosecution.

"We don't punish the people who gather the information on the crime, we punish the people who commit the crime," Lynn said.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sign-Up For Our Free Email Edition
Get the news first with our daily email


 
Blog Get more from The Daily News
Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 79 146 10,368
MORTGAGES 95 202 13,529
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 24 2,668
BUILDING PERMITS 0 393 24,700
BANKRUPTCIES 60 120 10,012
BUSINESS LICENSES 21 37 3,773
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 99 248 14,805
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 31 3,198

Weekly Edition

Issues | About

The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.