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 local law enforcement who may request that TDA assist in the investigation. If requested to assist, a TDA staff member will examine the livestock in question and determine if its conditions support a reasonable belief that the livestock is suffering from animal cruelty. If TDA finds that the animal’s conditions suggest cruelty, local authorities may continue a criminal investigation of the matter. TDA’s role is only the first step in a process that involves review by multiple agencies to determine if animal cruelty charges or other measures are warranted.


Complaints received through this website will be addressed within one business day. If the situation is an emergency and you are filing a complaint outside of regular business hours, please contact local law enforcement immediately.


It is important to note that the Tennessee Department of Agriculture only conducts examinations in alleged livestock cruelty cases. If your concern involves a dog, cat or companion animal, you must contact local authorities. The guidance provided on this website only applies to cattle, horses, swine, sheep, goats, poultry and other livestock.


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