Tennessee bill sets time limit on undercover videos of livestock

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A Tennessee bill approved by the House Agriculture Subcommittee would ensure livestock producers, and the animals they care for, are protected when undercover employees shoot video without the farmer’s knowledge.

The next step for the bill is approval by the full Agriculture Committee next week. As it stands, anyone with undercover footage of a farm or livestock operation has 24 hours to submit an unedited copy of the footage to law enforcement.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the timeline matches a current law requiring reporting of child abuse to authorities. If HB1191 is approved, animal rights activists would not be allowed to hold onto footage for an extended period of time, allowing the abuse to continue. A violation is a misdemeanor crime and is punishable by a fine.

Similar bills in California and Nebraska would require animal welfare advocates to submit undercover footage to law enforcement within 24 to 48 hours.

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