Opinion: Ag Gag Bill Returns

In an editorial released today, the Memphis Flyer criticizes the return of the whistleblower legislation nicknamed the “Ag Gag” bill. Gov. Bill Haslam vetoed the bill last year, which mandated that anyone observing animal cruelty report it to law authorities within 48 hours or be liable for arrest and penalty. "Ostensibly designed to bring swift attention to animal cruelty, the effect of such bills is nearly the opposite one, to discourage anyone from attempting to document such cruelty," the paper argues. The new bill, HB 2258/SB 2406, is sponsored by Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, and Sen. Dolores Gresham, R-Somerville. The newspaper claims the new bills are just as “constitutionally suspect” as previous versions, and urges the legislature to oppose them.