Tennessee’s so-called “ag gag” bill drew fire from clergy and celebrities alike, and on Monday Gov. Bill Haslam vetoed the bill that would have required evidence of animal abuse be turned over to law enforcement within 24 hours.
Haslam opted to veto the bill for three reasons, stated in a news release:
- The Attorney General says the law is constitutionally suspect.
- It appears to repeal parts of Tennessee’s Shield Law.
- Some district attorneys warned that it would make it more difficult to prosecute animal cruelty cases.
Despite his veto, Haslam reaffirmed his commitment to agricultural producers in the state.
“Agriculture is the No. 1 industry in Tennessee. Farmers play a vital role in our state’s economy, heritage and history. I understand their concerns about large scale attacks on their livelihoods. I also appreciate that the types of recordings this bill targets may be obtained at times under false pretenses, which I think is wrong,” Haslam said.