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.

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