Local Animal Activists, Filmmaker Speak Out Against "Ag Gag" Bill

Reported by: Caitlyn Jones

Edited by: Caitlyn Jones
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Updated: 4/25/2013 9:12 am
         Any pictures or video of animal cruelty in Tennessee could soon have to be turned in to authorities within 48 hours of being taken.
        In Chattanooga those would be turned into McKamey's animal shelter, but executive director Karen Walsh says the bill does more harm than good.
        "One picture doesn't tell a story, we need a history of what's going on, we need long term documentation which is why that 48 hour window isn't long enough for somebody to document a long term situation," said Walsh
        Wallace Braud shares a love for animals and documentary film making.
       He says the bill that's been passed by state legislature violates the first amendment, and prevents investigative documentaries from exposing animal cruelty.
        "If that's released or if an investigation starts immediately, the company you're trying to investigate is going to shut either themselves down or you down in order to get you out of there, and there's no way to find that kind of information in that short period of time," Braud said.
     The bill is now left in the hands of Governor Bill Haslam.
     The Humane society, Mercy for animals, and even country music star Carrie Underwood are all pushing the governor to veto the bill.
        "Governor Haslam said that he's been inundated with information now that it's on his desk but unfortunately we didn't inundated our own representatives before they voted on this," Walsh said.
        "If he gags those people who are doing the investigation, he's not going to get the good investigation and the good information that he needs to truly make the good laws to protect these animals," Braud said.

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