Public Chapter 90


By Representatives Davidson, Head, Phelan, Givens, Bone, Curtiss, McDonald, Jackson, Buck, Sands, McDaniel, Walley, Newton, White, Fitzhugh, Maddox, Tidwell, Fraley

Substituted for: Senate Bill No. 1914

By Senator Burks

AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, Chapter 14, Part 2, relative to animals and certain offenses involving animals.


SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-14-210, is further amended by deleting subsection (d) in its entirety and relettering subsequent subsections accordingly and by deleting subsection (a) in its entirety and by substituting instead the following language:

(a) The agents of any society which is incorporated for the prevention of cruelty to animals, upon being appointed thereto by the president of such society in any county, may, within such county, make arrests, and bring before any court thereof offenders found violating the provisions of this part with regard to non-livestock animals.

SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-14-201, is amended by adding the following new subsection:

( ) "Livestock" means all equine as well as animals which are being raised primarily for use as food or fiber for human utilization or consumption including, but not limited to, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, and poultry;

SECTION 3. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, Chapter 14, Part 2, is amended by adding the following as a new section:

Section___. No entry onto the property of another, arrest, interference with usual and customary agricultural or veterinary practices, confiscation, or any other action authorized by this part or any other provision of law shall be taken in response to an allegation that this part has been violated with regard to livestock unless, prior to or at the same time as such action, the livestock in question is examined by the county agricultural extension agent of such county a graduate of an accredited college of veterinary medicine specializing in livestock practice or a graduate from an accredited college of agriculture with a specialty in livestock. If the extension agent veterinary college graduate specializing in livestock practice or livestock specialist does not have probable cause to believe that a violation of this part has occurred with regard to such livestock, no action against the owner of such livestock described above shall be taken.

SECTION 4. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-14-202(e)(2), is amended by deleting the subpart in its entirety and substituting instead the following:

(2) It is an offense for a person other than a law enforcement officer acting with probable cause to knowingly interfere with the performance of any such agricultural practices permitted by subdivision (e)(1). If a person authorized by this section does not make an inspection within twenty-four (24) hours of receipt of a complaint, then a licensed veterinarian may make such inspection.

SECTION 5. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-14-201, is amended by adding the following new subdivision:

( ) "Non-livestock animal" means a pet normally maintained in or near the household(s) of its owner(s), other domesticated animal, previously captured wildlife, an exotic animal, or any other pet, including but not limited to, pet rabbits, a pet chick, duck, or pot bellied pig that is not classified as "livestock" pursuant to this part;

SECTION 6. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to that end the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

SECTION 7. This act shall take effect July 1,1997, the public welfare requiring it.