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Thread: Critics Say Tennessee Bill Aimed at Reducing Animal Cruelty May Actually Protect Food

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    Critics Say Tennessee Bill Aimed at Reducing Animal Cruelty May Actually Protect Food

    In many cases animal handling facilities have been closed and fines imposed by regulators in response to photos and videos showing animal abuse. So how does the industry and the politicians in their pocket respond? Not by cleaning up their act and getting the worst facilities to comply with the law. Instead they are using new laws to punish those who reveal the truth.


    "Critics Say Tennessee Bill Aimed at Reducing Animal Cruelty May Actually Protect Food Industry

    * By Cari Wade Gervin* MetroPulse * Posted March 27, 2013 at 10:35 a.m.

    Taking pictures at a petting zoo? Videotaping a trip to a farm? Those actions alone could land you a $50 fine and a Class C misdemeanor, if you accidentally happen to see an animal abused—that is, if a new law passes in the Tennessee Legislature.

    The bill, HB 1191/SB 1248, sponsored by Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) and Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), would make it a crime to not turn over any unedited videos and photographs that record cruelty to livestock to law enforcement authorities within 24 hours......

    “This is not about animal protection. This is about protecting the food industry,” says Leighann McCollum, the Tennessee State Director of the Humane Society of the United States. “This is about blowing the whistle on the whistle-blower as soon as possible.”

    McCollum says if the bill were actually about preventing cruelty to animals, it would cover all animals, not just livestock (that is, livestock as specifically defined by the Tennessee Code Annotated). If the bill was about animal cruelty, she says, it would require anyone who sees abuse to report it, not just those filming or photographing it. And if the bill were really about animal abuse, it would require law enforcement to investigate the complaints. The legislation, as currently written, does no such thing.

    What it would do, however, is prevent long-term investigations into animal cruelty and safety in the agricultural business. And that, says McCollum, is exactly the point......"

    Critics Say Tennessee Bill Aimed at Reducing Animal Cruelty May Actually Protect Food Industry » Metro Pulse

    ALEC, the right wing pro-corporate lobbying group is pushing for these laws in several states. Often the legislation also includes a ban on taking employment in a facility with the purpose of exposing animal cruelty. Several states have passed them and more are pending on other states. I don't know of any court decisions on the constitutionality of these laws.
    Last edited by Redress; 03-27-13 at 03:48 PM. Reason: edited title to match source title as per BN guidelines

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    Re: Punishing whistleblowers exposing animal cruelty

    Humane Society video results in Wyoming animal cruelty charges
    Posted: 12/28/2012 03:21:46 PM MST
    December 29, 2012 6:34 AM GMTUpdated: 12/28/2012 11:34:29 PM MST
    By Steve Raabe
    The Denver Postdenverpost.com

    Nine people in Wyoming have been charged with cruelty to animals following an undercover investigation of a pig farm by the Humane Society of the United States.

    The individuals charged are former employees of Wyoming Premium Farms in Wheatland, about 60 miles north of Cheyenne.

    Graphic video and photos surreptitiously taken earlier this year by a Humane Society investigator termporarily working at the pig farm show pigs being hit, kicked, thrown and dragged.

    The Platte County Attorney's office filed a total of 30 counts of misdemeanor animal abuse charges against the nine workers. If convictions result, each charge is punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

    Read more: Humane Society video results in Wyoming animal cruelty charges - The Denver Post Humane Society video results in Wyoming animal cruelty charges - The Denver Post
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    Re: Punishing whistleblowers exposing animal cruelty


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    Re: Punishing whistleblowers exposing animal cruelty

    As always, the animal rights people will not be happy until we are all vegans and cows live in mansions.

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    Re: Punishing whistleblowers exposing animal cruelty

    Fisher "As always, the animal rights people will not be happy until we are all vegans and cows live in mansions."

    What is your evidence that all animal rights advocates have the same goals?

    Does that mean that you oppose all animal cruelty laws? Do you support laws punishing people for revealing the truth about how animals are treated? If so, why do you think that is constitutional?
    Last edited by Hard Truth; 03-27-13 at 04:07 PM.

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    Re: Critics Say Tennessee Bill Aimed at Reducing Animal Cruelty May Actually Protect

    For those planning to post that pigs are too stupid to perceive abuse and pain:

    "In the current issue of Animal Behaviour, researchers present evidence that domestic pigs can quickly learn how mirrors work and will use their understanding of reflected images to scope out their surroundings and find their food. The researchers cannot yet say whether the animals realize that the eyes in the mirror are their own, or whether pigs might rank with apes, dolphins and other species that have passed the famed “mirror self-recognition test” thought to be a marker of self-awareness and advanced intelligence.....

    The finding is just one in a series of recent discoveries from the nascent study of pig cognition. Other researchers have found that pigs are brilliant at remembering where food stores are cached and how big each stash is relative to the rest. They’ve shown that Pig A can almost instantly learn to follow Pig B when the second pig shows signs of knowing where good food is stored, and that Pig B will try to deceive the pursuing pig and throw it off the trail so that Pig B can hog its food in peace.

    They’ve found that pigs are among the quickest of animals to learn a new routine, and pigs can do a circus’s worth of tricks: jump hoops, bow and stand, spin and make wordlike sounds on command, roll out rugs, herd sheep, close and open cages, play videogames with joysticks, and more. ”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/sc...gier.html?_r=0

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