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Regional & National

Humane Society: Animals suffer as Tennessee balks at cruelty laws

August 26th, 2011 9:40 am by Brian Haas

NASHVILLE — A collection of emaciated-looking horses stands in a Robertson County pasture while sheriff’s detectives investigate whether they are being mistreated. Nearby, the county’s leaders are mulling over whether to eliminate its animal control services to trim the budget.

“I think you’ve got especially some rural commissioners (who) remember the days when we didn’t have animal control and are used to controlling animals their own ways,” said Robertson County Mayor Howard Bradley. “With a bullet.”

Animal welfare advocates aren’t surprised.

The Humane Society of the United States has labeled Tennessee one of the worst states in the nation for protecting animals. In addition to Tennessee’s having some of the weakest laws in the United States, its legislators are chided by the group for failing to pass meaningful new animal welfare laws. Tennessee has had 17 large-scale animal emergency cases in the past three years — more than any other state.

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