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Reporting Abuse Against Livestock



This week, the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee passed HB1191 by Representative Andy Holt which makes it a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by fine only, to photograph or video an action of animal cruelty against livestock and not report the violation and submit the unedited photographs or video recordings to law enforcement within 24 hours of the photograph's or recording's creation. The House version now goes to House Calendar & Rules to be scheduled for a floor vote.
  
The Senate Judiciary Committee also considered SB1248 by Senator Dolores Gresham and after discussion postponed a vote until Tuesday, April 2. 
  
As the bill was being discussed Tuesday, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was having their "Day on the Hill". HSUS members were lobbying against the bill claiming that individuals who take photographs with animal abuse in the background could be guilty of a misdemeanor if they don't submit the images to law enforcement within the allotted time. They also claim this bill will prevent successful undercover exposes'. In addition, opponents claim the bill criminalizes undercover investigations by animal organizations, including HSUS.
  
Lawmakers have been inundated with emails in opposition to the bill.
 
If your Senator serves on Senate Judiciary please contact them before the committee meeting on Tuesday, April 2 and express your support of SB1248 by Senator Dolores Gresham. 
  
Also, please contact your House member before next week in support of HB1191 by Representative Andy Holt.
 
Talking points in support:
 
•         This bill is designed to STOP animal cruelty swiftly and legally.

•         When an animal’s welfare is at risk, there is no justifiable reason for having photographed proof of the

abuse and not submitting it to law enforcement.

•         Such photographs should be used to adequately punish offenders and not used for exposes' or to support

agendas of animal rights groups.

•         The short time for submitting such photographs is to prevent editing of the photograph.
 
Senate Judiciary Committee:
 
Chair Sen. Brian Kelsey
sen.brian.kelsey@capitol.tn.gov
615-741-3036

1st Vice-Chair Sen. Doug Overbey
sen.doug.overbey@capitol.tn.gov
615-741-0981

2nd Vice-Chair Sen. Stacey Campfield
sen.stacey.campfield@capitol.tn.gov
615-741-1766

Sen. Mike Bell
sen.mike.bell@capitol.tn.gov
615-741-1946

Sen. Lowe Finney
sen.lowe.finney@capitol.tn.gov
615-741-1810

Sen. Ophelia Ford
sen.ophelia.ford@capitol.tn.gov
615-741-1767

Sen. Todd Gardenhire
sen.todd.gardenhire@capitol.tn.gov
615-741-6682

Sen. Mark Green
sen.mark.green@capitol.tn.gov
615-741-2374

Sen. John Stevens
sen.john.stevens@capitol.tn.gov
615-741-4576

 reprinted courtesy of Farm Bureau

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