Friday, April 19, 2013

More Calls for Veto of 'Ag Gag' Bill

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 10:14 AM

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Animal rights groups this morning joined the calls for Gov. Bill Haslam to veto the "ag gag" bill that the legislature adopted this week.

Mercy for Animals said, "The purpose of these bills is to prevent whistleblowers from documenting and exposing the full extent of animal abuse and other criminal activity in factory farms and slaughterhouses. The practical effects of these bills would be to allow factory farms to scapegoat low-level employees for cruel and inhumane practices that start at the top while shielding managers and corporate executives from criminal liability."

In a letter to Haslam, Humane Society president Wayne Pacelle said the bill “appears to be an attempt to enact a policy of covering up abuses, and keeping the public from learning of them. If it is signed into law, it may indeed backfire, and result in more public mistrust and skepticism about the workings of the Tennessee walking horse industry at a time when it is already suffering a drastic decline in popularity due to the stigma of soring.”

Humane Society Tennessee director Leighann McCollum said, “Our lawmakers should focus on rooting out cruelty, not cover up the next scandal and shield the scofflaws who are shaming Tennessee’s horse industry. We urge Governor Haslam to veto this bill, and stop the animal cruelty cover-up.”

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said, “The bill suggests that Tennessee’s agricultural industry had something to hide. We need additional transparency, not less, when it comes to animal welfare and food safety. Where there are problems, industry should direct its energy toward resolving them, not covering them.”

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