IF YOU ARE A WITNESS OR HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF ANIMAL ABUSE THESE ARE THE STEPS TO FOLLOW. THOUGH YOU MAY CONTACT YOUR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT THE FOLLOWING PROTOCOL IS IN PLACE THROUGH THE TENNESSE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO AID THE ENDANGERED ANIMALS AS QUICKLY AS THE INVESTIGATION WILL ALLOW.
TO REPORT ABUSE CONTACT:
Tennessee Department of Agriculture Livestock Welfare Healthy livestock are a vital part of agriculture and our rural communities. In Tennessee, the vast majority of farmers and livestock owners consider the welfare of their animals to be a top priority. However, when a citizen believes that livestock is being subjected to cruelty, that citizen can contact local law enforcement or file a complaint with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture through this website. Once a livestock cruelty complaint is received by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, it is forwarded to a TDA Animal Health Official who will notify law enforcement of the complaint and coordinate an inspection. If TDA finds that the animal’s condition suggests cruelty, TDA will work with local authorities to process criminal charges.
It is important to note that the Tennessee Department of Agriculture conducts welfare examinations only in livestock cases. The guidance provided on this website only applies to cattle, horses, swine, sheep, goats, poultry and other livestock. If your concern involves a dog, cat or companion animal, you must contact local authorities.
Your complaint has been received and has been forwarded to the appropriate Animal Health Official for follow-up.
You will receive an email confirming your complaint was received. TDA will take steps to examine the livestock and/or refer the matter to local authorities as necessary to process the matter as quickly as possible.
Complaints have the potential to become criminal investigations. Therefore, you will not receive updates about your complaint. Please note we take all complaints seriously and investigate each fully under the law.
The Department’s primary role in evaluating animal cruelty allegations is to determine whether an animal’s conditions support a charge of animal cruelty. It is at the discretion of the local district attorney to decide if a criminal case will be pursued and what steps will be taken to resolve that case.
UT Extension - The University of Tennessee Extension program offers education and outreach in every county in Tennessee. Extension agents are highly trained and able to provide information on a variety of agricultural and livestock care topics. These programs are available to all county residents.
FACCT - The Farm Animal Care Coalition of Tennessee is an educational resource providing training and information regarding farm animal welfare to producers and the general public.