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April 18, 2013

California bill to thwart animal investigations killed

After weeks of opposition from animal welfare advocates, labor groups and First Amendment experts, a California assembly member withdrew a bill that would limit undercover abuse investigations before it could advance past its first step.

California now joins Arkansas and Wyoming in declining in recent weeks to advance bills that seek to punish the documenter of farm animal abuse rather than the abuse itself. In Tennessee, however, lawmakers on Wednesday were close to approving a bill similar to the one in California. The California bill introduced by Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, originally would have required anyone collecting evidence of abuse to turn it over to law enforcement within 48 hours or be guilty of an infraction, which advocates say does not allow enough time to show a pattern of illegal activity under federal humane handling and food safety laws. In an effort to ease criticism, he amended the bill last week to increase reporting time to 120-hours. Read More

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