The Tennessee House and Senate voted in favor of a bill requiring any video shot of animal cruelty to be turned over to law enforcement within 48 hours, which makes it impossible to prove long-term, corporate, institutionalized cruelty or a pattern of abuse. Agribusiness proponents of the law claim it protects animals, which is really rich, considering the well-being of animals is down in position ZERO on the list of things they care about.
The Knoxville News Sentinel, however, has more integrity and courage than Tennessee legislators. The paper stated, “If …the News Sentinel records images of animal cruelty, we will not consider ourselves bound to turn those images over to law enforcement. We will assume that the [state’s] shield law, and more importantly, the First Amendment, will pre-empt such a law. I’d recommend that anyone else who believes in freedom of expression take the same position, too.”