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Tennessee Legislature Passes Bill to Increase Animal Fighting Penalties

By overwhelming majorities, the Tennessee General Assembly has sent legislation to Gov. Bill Haslam that significantly strengthens penalties for attending an animal fight or bringing a child to an animal fight. Tonight's 90-2 vote in the House follows a 24-1 Senate vote last month, marking the end of a seven-year campaign to strengthen penalties for animal fighting in Tennessee. 

Leighann Lassiter, Tennessee state director for the Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement:

"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. Sen. Ketron and Rep. Lundberg and 112 of their colleagues have made our state a more humane place with their good work.”

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberties Commission and Sevier County Sheriff Ronald Seals supported the bill and were instrumental in securing passage of the legislation.


Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 240-751-3943, stwining@humanesociety.org

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