Animal rights activists protest new Metro bill

If LMAS can’t free up some room, the shelters' no-kill status could be in danger.
If LMAS can’t free up some room, the shelters' no-kill status could be in danger.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Jun. 4, 2022 at 2:41 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Animal rights activists in Nashville voiced their opinions about a bill that is making its way through the Metro Nashville Council.

The animal rights group, Music City Animal Advocates, called on Metro Council members via email and social media to provide clarification and make changes to BL2022-1252. MCAA focuses on creating an animal-saving culture in greater Nashville and surrounding counties in Tennessee.

Sponsored by Councilmembers Joy Styles, Jennifer Gamble, Russ Bradford, and Delishia Porterfield, the new bill aims to refine specific terms mentioned, such as “Animal Shelter” or the definition of “dangerous dog.” These definitions are expected to help animal control and the Metro population better understand what constitutes specific animal-related problems.

“Sections of the ordinances are contradictory to not only state laws but contradictory to other sections of this bill. We fear unintended consequences,” said MCAA in their email to Metro Council.

One section MCAA highlighted in their email to Metro Council was that in Section 8.04.170 of the bill, Metro Animal Care and Control officers could dispatch an animal by shooting it. “When and how will MACC officers be trained, equipped, controlled, the and certified to do this as this is not currently part of their duties. How much will the equipment and training cost?” MCAA asked Metro Council.

The section MCAA refers to states the following:

Another concern MCAA brought up was the procedures set to trap animals. Section 8.4.140 of the bill highlights that it shall be unlawful for any person to deliberately poison or trap any domesticated animal overall; however, if the animal is causing property damage, danger to life, or threats to the public, community members can trap the animal with the humane trapping method or approved by animal control.

MCAA said Metro Council failed to define the terms laid out in the bill and claims that they did not stipulate what one can do/cannot do once the animal is trapped, hinting at potential inhumane actions on the trapped animal.

At the end of the bill, Metro Council added that if anyone violates these terms, they will receive a $50 fine per penalty.

The bill is set to be voted on following its second reading on June 7th.

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