Neglect case highlights need for change in state law
FRANKLIN, Tenn. - When it comes to extreme cases of livestock neglect, one animal rights activist says its time for Tennessee to changes its law.
Activist Laura Turner cites the case of a white donkey, living on a farm off Old Kedron Road in Maury County.
She told News 2 the case of neglect was "severe", but she couldn't get anyone to investigate the case.
"In Tennessee, we have enhanced the penalties for cruelty to animals but sometimes we need to look at some of things in the law and take things out of it that have become problematic," she said.
According to state law, a county agricultural extension agent has to investigate allegations of cruelty to livestock animals before any action can take place.
Turner said the agricultural agent, in many cases, is a "wasted step."
She continued, "It delays time and if an animal is down, time is of the essence."
Senator Burk introduced a bill earlier this year which would remove the requirement of having a county agriculture agent investigate livestock cruelty allegations first.
While the bill failed to advance in the Senator or the House, Turner thinks it is a step in the right direction.
"A lot of those agents haven't been trained for that," she said. "They are over worked and under paid and they can't charge anyway so if it is an actual case of cruelty, we really need law enforcement. We need to not have that step in there."
The neglected donkey was moved from Maury County but no charges were brought against the owner.
Turner said she will continue to fight for protection involving livestock.