Tag Archives: gag

Singer Urges Haslam Veto of ‘Ag Gag’ Bill

Country music singer Carrie Underwood is “begging” Gov. Bill Haslam to veto a bill requiring pictures or video of livestock abuse to be turned over the law enforcement authorities.
Known as an “ag gag bill” by critics, the measure (SB1248) was given final legislative approval by the House on a 50-43 vote Wednesday night, two days after it passed the Senate 22-9. That sends it to Haslam’s desk, though the formal transmittal process typically takes a day or two.
On Thursday, Underwood tweeted Haslam, with fans copied in:
“Please don’t sign the Ag Gag bill. Think about the welfare of the animals as well as the consumers. I’m begging you.”
Another Underwood tweet to fans: “Shame on TN lawmakers for passing the Ag Gag bill. If Gov. Bill Haslam signs this, he needs to expect me at his front door. Who’s with me?”
David Smith, spokesman for Haslam, said the governor did not respond to Underwood’s tweet. His office has received “a couple hundred emails and calls throughout the day” on the bill, Smith said.
“He’ll review it, like he does all bills, when it gets to his desk,” said Smith.

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‘Vigilante’ Video Attacks on Animal Abuse Targeted in ‘Ag Gag’ Bill

Legislators out to stop what they see as “vigilante” attacks on the livestock industry are pushing for enactment of a bill that critics see as an attack on constitutional freedom of speech.
The bill (SB1248) would require anyone observing abuse of livestock to promptly turn over all “unedited photographs, digital images or video” related to the abuse to law enforcement authorities. Under the current Senate version, this would have to occur within 48 hours of when the recording was made or, if the recording was made on a weekend, on the next weekday.
Violators would be guilty of a “class C” misdemeanor, penalized by a maximum fine of $500.
“This is a Catch-22 bill,” said Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, when the proposal (SB1248) came up on the Senate floor last week, referring to the Joseph Heller novel on a paradoxical situation.

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