Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam vetoing 'ag gag' bill

photo Bill Haslam

Arkansas-Tennessee Live Blog

NASHVILLE - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today said he is vetoing a controversial "ag gag" bill that would require intentional documentation of animal abuse be handed over to law enforcement within 48 hours.

Haslam, who has wrestled with the issue for days, cited last week's legal opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper, who said the bill's provisions are "constitutional suspect" as regards the First Amendment.

The governor also voiced concerns that it repeals part of Tennessee's "shield law," which protects journalists' ability to collect information.

Haslam said in a statement he understands farmers' support of the bill and their concerns about "large-scale attacks on their livelihoods.