National airtime in HSUS bid to stop Tennessee bill

The Humane Society of the United States has scored some national airtime in its bid to persuade Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to veto legislation that would restrict taking photographs or video on industrial factory farms.

Wayne Pacelle on the Ellen Show.
Wayne Pacelle on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The society’s president and chief executive, Wayne Pacelle, appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday and asked viewers to call Haslam and urge him to veto SB1248 – a bill in one of 11 states to subvert animal welfare investigations.

The HSUS has launched a grassroots, social media and advertising campaign to encourage the governor to veto the controversial bill, which is opposed by a broad coalition of First Amendment proponents, animal welfare organizations, journalists and press associations, and a bipartisan group of Tennessee legislators who tried to halt the bill’s progress in the waning hours of the Tennessee legislative session.

“Ellen DeGeneres and I reminded her millions of viewers that these bills are a bald-faced attempt by agribusiness interests to close the curtains on inhumane and unacceptable practices and conduct on factory farms,” Pacelle said.

“We need more transparency, not less, in discussing animal production practices in our country.”

Wayne Pacelle and Ellen DeGeneres.
Wayne Pacelle and Ellen DeGeneres.

Lawmakers in Indiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Vermont are considering bills similar to the legislation that narrowly passed in the Tennessee legislature last week.

The bill would potentially make it a crime for non-profit organizations and journalists to covertly document and then expose unethical and illegal activity in horse stables and at industrial agriculture facilities.

It requires anyone recording abuse of livestock to turn over all photographs and video, unedited, to a law enforcement agency within 48 hours. Those who fail to do so could be fined up to $US500.

The bill’s backers argue it would speed the reporting of possible abuses, but opponents say it will stop animal rights activists from gathering enough evidence to prove any abuse occurring is routine and ongoing.

Farmers or businesses could claim the recorded instances were one-time occurances and continue trading, oponents argue.

 

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2 thoughts on “National airtime in HSUS bid to stop Tennessee bill

  • April 26, 2013 at 3:14 am
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    Well done Wayne and Ellen…BTW we need your celebrity voice for the wild horses and burros as well!

    Reply
  • April 29, 2013 at 7:38 am
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    Animal welfare organizations work closely with authorities to bring animal abusers to justice. Don’t let SB1248 prevent undercover investigations of facilities with illegal and immoral practices. Tell Gov. Haslam to veto SB1248! Go to hsus.org/tn to take action.

    Reply

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