Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam Vetoes Ag Gag Bill
Let’s shout out a big “woo hoo” for Tennessee’s Gov. Bill Haslam officially vetoing his state’s Ag Gag bill. After much deliberation, Haslam decided the anti-animal bill is not the right thing to do.
According to The Tennessean, the Republican said the Ag Gag bill is “constitutionally suspect,” and also wants the state legislature to reassess the bill.
“Our office has spent a great deal of time considering this legislation. We’ve had a lot of input from people on all sides of the issue,” Haslam said in a statement. “After careful consideration, I am going to veto the legislation. … I have a number of concerns.”
If the bill would have passed, it would have prevented undercover investigations of factory farms and other establishments committing animal cruelty.
For the past several weeks, many animal activists including Carrie Underwood, Ellen DeGeneres and Ginnifer Goodwin reached out to the governor asking him to not support the bill. In addition, individuals also pleaded with Haslam to veto the bill. He received more than 5,000 phone calls, 16,000 emails and 34,000 petition signatures.
It seems like he took many concerns into consideration, especially Attorney General Robert Cooper’s statement saying the bill is “unclear” and possibly violates several constitutional amendments.
Haslam also noted, “Agriculture is the No. 1 industry in Tennessee. Farmers play a vital role in our state’s economy, heritage and history. I understand their concerns about large scale attacks on their livelihoods. I also appreciate that the types of recordings this bill targets may be obtained at times under false pretenses, which I think is wrong.”