§ 39-14-801 . Short title
§ 39-14-802 . Definitions
§ 39-14-803 . General provisions
§ 39-14-804 . Crimes and offenses; classification
§ 39-14-805 . Commissioner; powers and duties
§ 39-14-806 . Remedies; costs and attorney fees
This part shall be known and may be cited as the “Tennessee Farm Animal and Research Facilities Protection Act.”
1992 Pub.Acts, c. 782, § 2.
As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) “Actor” means a person accused of any of the offenses defined in this part;
(2) “Animal” means any warm-blooded or cold-blooded animal or insect which is being used in food or fiber production, agriculture, research, testing, or education, including, but not limited to, hogs, equines, mules, cattle, sheep, goats, dogs, rabbits, poultry, fish, and bees. “Animal” does not include any animal held primarily as a pet;
(3) “Animal facility” means any vehicle, building, structure, pasture, paddock, pond, impoundment, or premises where an animal is kept, handled, housed, exhibited, bred, or offered for sale and any office, building, or structure where records or documents relating to an animal or to animal research, testing, production, or education are maintained;
(4) “Commissioner” means the commissioner of agriculture;
(5) “Consent” means assent in fact, whether express or implied, by the owner or by a person legally authorized to act for the owner which is not:
(A) Induced by force, threat, false pretenses, or fraud;
(B) Given by a person the actor knows, or should have known, is not legally authorized to act for the owner;
(C) Given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, if intoxication is known, or should have been known, by the actor to be unable to make reasonable decisions; or
(D) Given solely to detect the commission of an offense;
(6) “Deprive” means unlawfully to withhold from the owner, interfere with the possession of, free, or dispose of an animal or other property;
(7) “Owner” means a person who has title to the property, lawful possession of the property, or a greater right to possession of the property than the actor;
(8) “Person” means any individual, corporation, association, nonprofit corporation, joint-stock company, firm, trust, partnership, two (2) or more persons having a joint or common interest, or other legal entity;
(9) “Possession” means actual care, custody, control, or management;
(10) “Property” means any real or personal property and includes any document, record, research data, paper, or computer storage medium;
(11) “State” means the state of Tennessee; and
(12) “Disrupt” means to engage in conduct that materially interferes with the operations of the animal facility in a manner such that the activities conducted by or in the facility are permanently or temporarily halted, compromised, delayed, harmed or impaired.
1992 Pub.Acts, c. 782, § 3; 2014 Pub.Acts, c. 893, § 1, eff. July 1, 2014.
(a) A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person acquires or otherwise exercises control over an animal facility, an animal from an animal facility, or other property from an animal facility with the intent to deprive the owner of the facility, animal, or property and to disrupt the enterprise conducted at the animal facility.
(b) A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person damages or destroys an animal facility or damages, frees, or destroys any animal or property in or on an animal facility with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility and the damage or loss thereto exceeds five hundred dollars ($500).
(c)(1) A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person damages or destroys an animal facility or damages, frees, or destroys any animal or property in or on an animal facility and the damage or loss thereto is five hundred dollars ($500) or less, or enters or remains on an animal facility with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility, and the person:
(A) Had notice that the entry was forbidden;
(B) Knew or should have known that the animal facility was or had closed to the public; or
(C) Received notice to depart but failed to do so.
(2) For purposes of this subsection (c), “notice” means:
(A) Oral or written communication by the owner or someone with actual or apparent authority to act for the owner;
(B) The presence of fencing or other type of enclosure or barrier designed to exclude intruders or to contain animals; or
(C) A sign or signs posted on the property or at the entrance to the building, reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, indicating that entry is forbidden.
(d) This part does not apply to, affect, or otherwise prohibit actions taken by the department of agriculture, any other federal, state, or local department or agency, or any official, employee or agent thereof while in the exercise or performance of any power or duty imposed by law or by rule and regulation.
1992 Pub.Acts, c. 782, §§ 4, 5.
(a) A person found to be in violation of any of the offenses defined in § 39-14-803(a) and (b) commits a Class C felony.
(b) Any person violating § 39-14-803(c) commits a Class B misdemeanor.
1992 Pub.Acts, c. 782, § 5.
For purposes of enforcing the provisions of this part, the commissioner:
(1) May investigate any offense under this part;
(2) May seek the assistance of any law enforcement agency of the United States, the state, or any local government in the conduct of the investigations; and
(3) Shall coordinate the investigation to the maximum extent practicable, with the investigations of any law enforcement agency of the United States, the state, or any local government.
1992 Pub.Acts, c. 782, § 6.
(a) Any person who has been damaged by reason of a violation of this part may recover all actual and consequential damages, punitive damages, and court costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, from the person causing the damage.
(b) In addition to the remedies provided in this part or elsewhere in the laws of this state, and notwithstanding the existence of an adequate remedy at law, any person who has been damaged by reason of a violation of this part is authorized to apply to the chancery courts for an injunction or restraining order. The courts shall have jurisdiction, and for good cause shown, shall grant a temporary or permanent injunction or a temporary restraining order restraining or enjoining any person from violating or continuing to violate this part. The injunction or restraining order shall be issued without bond and may be granted, notwithstanding the fact that the violation constitutes a criminal act and notwithstanding the pendency of any criminal prosecution for the same violation.
(c) Nothing in this part shall be construed to limit the exercise of any other rights arising out of or relating to a violation of this part.
1992 Pub.Acts, c. 782, § 7.