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Mar 24, 2014

Tennessee: Action needed on three bills this week

From: Beverly King <bevanddogs@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 6:07 AM
Subject: Fw: Action needed on three bills this week

Please read the email below from Tennessee Voters for Animal Legislation.

Here we go again!  The Anti-Whistleblower bill is up again in the state legislature.  It needs defeating

There are also 2 other important bills that need passing.  

All 3 bills are scheduled to be heard tomorrow, Tues., March 25 in the Senate Judiciary Committee. 
Your Senator may not be on this committee, but please contact him/her anyway because soon the bills may make it to the floor for a full vote!  Same with your Representative.  Let them BOTH know how you feel today about these 3 proposed legislations.  

To find the names of your Senator and Representative, please go  to:

Beverly

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: TN Voters for Animal Protection <info@tnanimalprotection.org>
To:
Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2014 9:09 PM
Subject: Action needed on three bills this week

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Please take action today!
Dear Beverly,
There are three bills that need action right away.  Please call your lawmakers!
  
HB2258/SB2406 - 
Anti-Whistleblower/Ag Gag
We scored a major victory last year when Governor Bill Haslam did the right thing and vetoed Tennessee's whistleblower-suppression bill.  We won that battle, but the war rages on:  Big Ag does not give up easily, and similar legislation has been introduced this session that, unbelievably, may be even worse than last year's bill.  This bill, if passed, would make it a felony to "disrupt" an agricultural or research operation, but the bill's definition of "disrupt" is absurdly broad.  This bill could turn conscientious, ethical employees into felons for going public with unsafe working conditions, animal cruelty, and other illegal or unethical activities taking place in agricultural facilities.  According to this bill, to do so could be seen as "disrupting" operations, which would be a felony-level crime punishable by incarceration.  No other industry enjoys this level of protection and government-approved secrecy.  If you care about the humane treatment of animals, free speech and food safety, you must not allow this bill become law. 
Please call and email your legislators AND all committee members, and leave a brief polite message that you OPPOSE HB2258/SB2406 and you believe this type of legislation turns whistleblowers and well-meaning employees into felons.  This bill will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 25.  It will also be heard in the House Criminal Justice Committee on Wednesday, March 26.  It is especially important that these committee members hear from their constituents.  
SB2366 - The "Animal Fighting Enforcement Act"
If passed, The Animal Fighting Enforcement Act would strengthen the penalties spectators who attend animals fights would face.  Unfortunately, Tennessee has one of the weakest laws in the nation when it comes to spectators at animal fights.  Not only is this a cruel blood sport where people are fighting dogs and roosters to their death, it also is a place for gambling, alcohol, narcotics and drugs. This is not the image we want to be projecting for Tennessee.  This bill, if passed, would make it a Class A misdemeanor to be a spectator at an animal fight with a fine of $2,500 and possible jail time. 
Please call and email your Senator AND all committee members, and leave a brief polite message that you SUPPORT SB2366 and you believe this type of legislation is greatly needed to help bring about stronger penalties for this cruel practice that is a gateway to other criminal activities.  An amendment will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 25 (please note: this is a new bill number and is not the original one).  It is especially important that these committee members hear from their constituents.  
SB2162 - The "Tennessee Animal Abuser Registration Act"
This bill establishes  registration, verification, and tracking requirements for an abuser of companion animals, which means any person who commits aggravated cruelty to animals, felony animal fighting, or bestiality.  The TBI will use their existing database to register convicted persons who abuse companion animals.  First-time offenders will be registered for a period of two years and repeat offenders for a period of five years.
Please call and email your Senator AND all committee members, and leave a brief polite message that you SUPPORT SB2162 and you believe this type of legislation is greatly needed to help discourage the abuse of companion animals.  This bill will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 25.  It is especially important that these committee members hear from their constituents.  
To find your legislators, please visit www.capitol.tn.gov/legislators.  
Thanks for your continued dedication to the animals!
Sincerely,
Payton C. Robbins, Legislative Liaison
Tennessee Voters for Animal Protection
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Tennessee Voters for Animal Protection | P.O. Box 332141 | Nashville | TN | 37203