The 'Ag Gag' bill makes it a crime to videotape animal cruelty or abuse and then fail to turn in the evidence to authorities within 48 hours. The result? It will stop animal rights activists from accumulating enough documentation to prove that animal cruelty is routine at some factory farms and slaughterhouses. Under this bill, farmers can claim the abuse is a one-time occurrence and go on their merry way.
A recent example: In 2011, an Humane Society investigation into Tennessee walking horse trainer Jackie McConnell's stable in Collierville, Tenn., revealed shocking cruelty to horses. The whistleblower recorded horses being whipped, kicked, shocked in the face and intentionally burned with caustic chemicals. As a direct result of that investigation, a federal grand jury handed down a 52-count criminal indictment and a state grand jury indicted McConnell and two others for 38 counts of criminal animal cruelty. Had this law been in place, the whistleblower would not have been able to amass enough evidence to show a pattern of abuse over time, and the perpetrators never would have been punished.
If Gov. Haslam signs this bill into law, it will stop prosecutions of animal cruelty by criminalizing whistleblowing on factory farms. We need your help, though, to keep this bill from becoming law. Our window to stop this bill from being signed into law is narrow - Gov. Haslam only has 10 days from receipt of the bill to veto it. Will you sign it today and share with others?