2018 Tennessee Code
Title 39 - Criminal Offenses
Chapter 14 - Offenses Against Property
Part 2 - Animals
§ 39-14-203. Cock and animal fighting.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 39-14-203 (2018)
  • (a) It is unlawful for any person to:

    • (1) Own, possess, keep, use or train any bull, bear, dog, cock, swine or other animal, for the purpose of fighting, baiting or injuring another such animal, for amusement, sport or gain;

    • (2) Cause, for amusement, sport or gain, any animal referenced in subdivision (a)(1) to fight, bait or injure another animal, or each other;

    • (3) Permit any acts stated in subdivisions (a)(1) and (2) to be done on any premises under the person's charge or control, or aid or abet those acts;

    • (4) Be knowingly present, as a spectator, at any place or building where preparations are being made for an exhibition for the fighting, baiting or injuring of any animal, with the intent to be present at the exhibition, fighting, baiting or injuring; or

    • (5) Knowingly cause a person under eighteen (18) years of age to attend an animal fight.

  • (b) It is the legislative intent that this section shall not apply to the training or use of hunting dogs for sport or to the training or use of dogs for law enforcement purposes.

  • (c)

    • (1) Except for any offense involving a cock, an offense under subdivisions (a)(1)-(3) is a Class E felony.

    • (2) An offense involving a cock under subdivisions (a)(1)-(3) is a Class A misdemeanor.

  • (d)

    • (1) A violation of subdivision (a)(4) is a Class A misdemeanor.

    • (2) A violation of subdivision (a)(5) is a Class A misdemeanor. Notwithstanding § 40-35-111(e)(1), the fine for a violation of subdivision (a)(5) shall be not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500).

  • (e) It is not an offense to own, possess or keep cocks, or aid or abet the ownership, possession or keeping of cocks, for the sole purpose of selling or transporting cocks to a location in which possession or keeping of cocks is legal, as long as it does not violate any other part of this section or federal law.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Tennessee may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.