New bill would ban felony animal abusers from owning pets

STATE NEWS — To some, animals exist as close companions and furry family members. Unfortunately, to others, an animal’s welfare just isn’t the priority. In the most extreme cases, individuals hoard animals in cruel conditions or intentionally cause them harm.

A new proposed Tennessee law aims to prevent those individuals from owning pets for a minimum of two years. It’s a follow up measure from Nashville representative Darren Jernigan (D – Old Hisckory). In January 2016, Jernigan sponsored the Tennessee Animal Abuser Registration Act of 2015, which established the first statewide Animal Abuse Registry. It identifies persons convicted of felony-level animal abuse like aggravated cruelty, animal fighting, or sexual activity with an animal. Currently, there are 16 offenders on that list. (Click here for that link.)

Neither bill includes horses or other farm animals. Instead, it’s aimed solely at companion animals such as dogs and cats.

Jernigan introduced the HB 1643 on January 14. To let your representative know how you feel about the bill, contact Representative Iris Rudder at 615-741-8695 or Senator Shane Reeves at 615-741-1066. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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