Dogs and skunks top topics in 2016 animal protection report

Tennessee Voters for Animal Protection doesn’t have much to report in its annual report on legislative doings. A bill the group supported, requiring registration of dog breeders, didn’t come up for a vote; and a bill opposed, allowing skunks as pets, died on the House floor after passing the Senate.

The group’s annual rating of legislators thus is largely based on those matters. Highest ratings went to sponsors and supporters of the dog breeder legislation; lowest to sponsors of the skunk bill.

The full “scorecard” report, including all members of the House and Senate if you scroll down a bit, is HERE.

And here’s the organization’s news release:

NASHVILLE, MAY 10, 2016 – Tennessee Voters for Animal Protection (TVAP) released their annual Legislative Report and Scorecard today.

“This scorecard is a summary of how the 109th General Assembly performed this year with regard to animal protection issues in Tennessee,” said Payton Robbins, TVAP’s Legislative Liaison. “In stark contrast to last year, only one animal protection bill was introduced this year, and it faced strong opposition. Due to extreme anti-animal propaganda, a bill known as the Commercial Dog Breeder Registration Act, which would have increased consumer protection and provided more humane treatment for dogs confined in puppy mills, failed to get out of committee.”

The Commercial Dog Breeder Registration Act was only assigned to the House Agriculture Committee. “Thousands of Tennesseans want to see strong animal-protection laws on our books, but some legislators are going against the will of their constituents by killing these bills in the Agriculture Committees,” said Robbins. “This bill rightly belongs in the House Business and Utilities Committee since it deals with consumer protection and licensing.”

Those receiving the highest scores were Rep. John Ray Clemmons, Rep. Darren Jernigan, Rep. Sherry Jones, Rep. Jason Powell, Rep. Courtney Rogers, Rep. Johnny Shaw, Rep. Mike Stewart, Rep. Art Swann, Sen. Ferrell Haile, Sen. Thelma Harper, Sen. Reginald Tate and Sen. Jeff Yarbro.

Those receiving the lowest scores were Rep. Jeremy Faison, Rep. Andy Holt and Sen. Paul Bailey.

Founded in 2010, Tennessee Voters for Animal Protection is a non-partisan political action committee that is not affiliated with any other local or national organization. The PAC is committed to educating voters on how their legislators voted on animal welfare issues and electing animal-friendly candidates ensuring animals have a voice in Tennessee.