Friends of dog fighting? 20 lawmakers vote against harsher penalty for animal fighting

Photo courtesy of ASPCA

Proposal still passes General Assembly, moves to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk

Despite 20 votes in opposition, a proposal to increase the penalty for training animals to fight in illegal gambling rings passed both chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly.

House Bill 233 passed the lower chamber on March 7 and Senate Bill 222 passed the upper chamber March 18.

The measure, which had broad bipartisan support, strengthens the penalty against people training animals, such as dogs and cocks, for illegal fighting.

If signed by Gov. Bill Lee, the proposal will create a Class A misdemeanor when training tools, such as breaking sticks, fighting pits, unprescribed medicine and slashers, are found in the possession of someone connected to illegal animal fighting.

How they voted:
Representatives who voted against House Bill 233:
Rep. Kent Calfee, R-Kingston, District 32
Rep. Dale Carr, R-Sevierville, District 12
Rep. Martin Daniel, R-Knoxville, District 18
Rep. Clay Doggett, R-Pulaski, District 70
Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, District 76
Rep. Bud Hulsey, R-Kingsport, District 2
Rep. Justin Lafferty, R-Knoxville, District 89
Rep. Pat Marsh, R-Shelbyville, District 62
Rep. Jay Reedy, R-Erin, District 74
Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station, District 35
Rep. Ron Travis, R-Dayton, District 31
Rep. James “Micah” Van Huss, R-Gray, District 6
Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster, District 40
Rep. Joe Towns, Jr., D-Memphis, District 84

Senators who voted against Senate Bill 222:
Sen. Paul Bailey, R-Sparta, District 15
Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma, District 16
Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, District 28
Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, District 8
Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown, District 1
Sen. Ken Yager, R-Kingston, District 12