Tennessee rep’s email calls Humane Society methods ‘tape and rape’

Editor’s Note: Rep. Andy Holt, the sponsor of the Animal Abuse Reporting bill, really understands HSUS! Special Thanks to Carlotta for the heads up.

Posted by Heidi Hall

The state representative behind Tennessee’s “ag-gag” bill compared Humane Society of the United States investigations to human trafficking of 17-year-old women and called the group’s methods “tape and rape” in an email.

The HSUS released the email exchange this morning between its public policy coordinator, Kayci McLeod, and Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, a hog farmer and one of the bill’s sponsors. The bill, which only needs Gov. Bill Haslam’s signature to become law, would ban long-term investigations of animal cruelty by requiring investigators to turn videos over to police within days. Holt said it would stop animal abuse more quickly, and some undercover investigators can’t tell the difference between legitimate, legal farming techniques and cruelty.

HSUS is one of the bill’s primary opponents and says it’s aimed at protecting abusers from prosecution, because it can take weeks or months to build a case that leads to charges. The group funded a statewide campaign encouraging Tennesseans to express concerns about the bill.

Holt hasn’t returned voicemails on his cell phone or an email. The email exchange is below.

From: Andy Holt [rep.andy.holt@capitol.tn.gov]

Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 11:26 PM

To: Kayci McLeod

Cc: Andy Holt

Subject: RE: Please Oppose HB 1191

Ms. McLeod,

I am extremely pleased that we were able to pass HB 1191 today to help protect livestock in Tennessee from suffering months of needless investigation that propagandist groups of radical animal activists, like your fraudulent and reprehensibly disgusting organization of maligned animal abuse profiteering corporatists, who are intent on using animals the same way human-traffickers use 17 year old women. You work for a pathetic excuse for an organization and a pathetic group of sensationalists who seek to profit from animal abuse. I am glad, as an aside, that we have limited your preferred fund-raising methods here in the state of Tennessee; a method that I refer to as “tape and rape.” Best wishes for the failure of your organization and it’s true intent.

Andy Holt

State Representative – District 76

Weakley & Northern Carroll Counties

205 War Memorial Building

301 6th Ave. North

Nashville, TN 37243




From: Kayci McLeod [mailto:kmcleod@humanesociety.org]

Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:44 PM

To: Andy Holt

Subject: Please Oppose HB 1191

Dear Representative Holt,

Have you seen the editorial in the Tennessean today opposing HB 1191, the whistleblower suppression bill intended to cover up animal cruelty?

The Tennessean editorial board condemns the bill, noting that the “bill would certainly take our state in the wrong direction, toward more senseless violence.”

We very much hope you’ll agree with the Tennessean and oppose this dangerous bill. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Kayci McLeod

Public Policy Coordinator

Farm Animal Protection Campaign

The Humane Society of the United States

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