Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Bill Increasing Animal Fighting Penalties Passes Tennessee Legislature
By Bianca Phillips
on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 11:38 AM
The bill makes it a Class A misdemeanor to attend an animal fight or to bring a child to an animal fight. Both provisions carry maximum penalties of up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. The mandatory minimum penalty for bringing a child to a fight would be a $1,000 fine.
The bill passed the House in a 90-2 vote on Monday night, and it passed the Senate in a 24-1 vote last month.
“The General Assembly has spoken loud and clear, and the message is: Tennessee will no longer be a refuge for anyone who sets animals against each other in fights to the death," said Leighann Lassiter, the state director for the Humane Society of the United States. "Senator [Bill] Ketron and Representative [Jon] Lundberg, [the bill's sponsors], and 112 of their colleagues have made our state a more humane place with their good work.”
A bill that will increase penalties for attending an animal fight or bringing a child to an animal fight is headed to Governor Bill Haslam's desk after passing both the Tennessee House and Senate by an overwhelming majority vote in its favor.