Faith group joins opposition to 'ag gag' bill

FILE - In this April 22, 2010 image from video provided by the United States Humane Society, a Hallmark Meat Packing slaughter plant worker is shown attempting to force a

FILE - In this April 22, 2010 image from video provided by the United States Humane Society, a Hallmark Meat Packing slaughter plant worker is shown attempting to force a "downed" cow onto its feet by ramming it with the blades of a forklift in Chino, Calif. State legislators across the country are introducing laws making it harder for animal welfare advocates to investigate cruelty and food safety cases. Bills pending in California, Nebraska and Tennessee require that anyone collecting evidence of abuse turn it over to law enforcement within 24 to 48 hours - which advocates say does not allow enough time to document illegal activity under federal humane handling and food safety laws. Critics say the bills are an effort to deny consumers the ability to know how their food is produced. (AP Photo/Humane Society of the United States, file)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Members of the faith community are expressing their opposition to a bill that would make it a crime to video record animal abuse if it isn't turned over to law enforcement authorities within 48 hours.

The director of Clergy for Justice and another minister delivered a letter to Gov. Bill Haslam this week asking him to veto the bill, which is drawing opposition from other groups and even some celebrities.

Clergy for Justice Director Kathy Chambers says more than 300 ministers and people of faith have said they're against the proposal, dubbed the "ag gag" bill.

Critics say the bill would put an end to extended undercover operations targeting animal abuse.

The governor's office has yet to receive the bill from the General Assembly. Once it arrives, Haslam has 10 days to veto it or let it become law.


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