Tennessee bill proposed to curtail undercover animal abuse probes

Tennessee bill proposed to curtail undercover animal abuse probes

April 8th, 2013 by The Tennessean in Local Regional News

A frame captured from video of a Humane Society of the United States investigation show the measures taken to produce the exaggerated stride of Tennessee Walking Horses. In the video, horses are struck with clubs, shocked and have their hooves treated with chemicals and mechanical devices.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

A bill that would end long-term, undercover video recording of animal abuse - like one used to convict Tennessee walking horse abuser Jackie McConnell last year - is moving through the Tennessee Legislature this session.

It would require people who purposefully videotape suspected animal abuse to turn their videos over to law enforcement within 48 hours of the incident. Some undercover investigators have documented abuse over weeks or months to show a pattern. Opponents question the requirement to give personal property to police.

Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, sponsor of House Bill 1191 and a hog and cattle farmer, said the purpose of the law is to give clear guidance on what people should do if they witness abuse. He said some who have attempted undercover work don't understand what's actual abuse and have misrepresented video they've shot.

Read more at The Tennessean.