NASHVILLE – Governor Bill Haslam recently signed into law legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) and Representative Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) that would guarantee governmental transparency in livestock inspections. Senate Bill 2332 enables owners of an animal subject to inspection to be able to personally record or designate an agent to record the assessment by audiovisual means.
“It’s a simple bill that ensures any owner of an animal, agrarian or domestic, the right to document any government inspection of their animal,” said Tracy. “It is not designed to interfere with lawful investigations, but to grant security and peace of mind to the animal owner.”
“I appreciate the Tennessee House, Senate and the governor for supporting this legislation unanimously that protects our basic civil liberties from potential government abuse,” said Representative Matheny.
The new statue took effect on March 22nd, the day the Governor signed his approval.
“This bill validates the right to government transparency for Tennessee’s farmers,” added Tracy. “Transparency is critical to our trust in these departments and the state overall. This bill establishes a means of protection for those in the agriculture business, which is the backbone of our great state.”
As of January 2016, Tennessee has more than 51 million agricultural animals and 4,500 inspectors. Cattle and calves are the largest source of farming income in Tennessee.