Animal Laws


The following is a listing of acts that at one time affected, but no longer appear to have any effect on, hunting, fishing or animal control in Sevier County. They are included herein for reference purposes. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1822 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 61, Page 56, made it the duty of the Ranger of Sevier County to receive from those who might take them up any estrays, the probate of them to be under the same rules, regulations, and restrictions as now directed by law, and in the same manner as if the Ranger had been appointed by court. The law required also that those coming into possession of estrays should notify the Ranger of that fact promptly.

2. Acts of 1847-48, Chapter 153, Page 240, made it legal for any person to build, construct, and/or erect fish traps in the Little Pigion River, in Sevier County, provided the passage of boats up and down the river would not be interfered with, or obstructed.

3. Acts of 1901, Chapter 217, Page 456, declared that it was lawful to catch fish in Sevier County from April 1 to June 1 in any of its waters and by any means except poison, dynamite, or other explosives, or by wing net or dam across any stream, or by trap. Violators would be fined from $10 to $25 for each offense.

4. Acts of 1903, Chapter 568, Page 1515, rendered it illegal for live stock of any description to run at large in Sevier County, using the 1900 Federal Census figures. Fines from $5.00 to $10.00 would be imposed upon violators which money would go into the public school fund. Any damage committed by trespassing live stock would be a lien against them and the cost of taking up and caring for the stock could also be added to the damages. This Act must be approved in a referendum before it would become effective.

5. Private Acts of 1907, Chapter 146, Page 430, provided that four barbed wires on good, substantial posts, set firmly in the ground, not more than fifteen feet apart with good, sound stays and braces no less than two inches thick, shall be considered to be a lawful fence in Sevier County. The wires would be placed twelve inches apart on the posts and the bottom one would be twelve inches above the ground. Provisions for plank and rail fences were also included if the specifications stated in the act were met. The Act further declared it unlawful for sheep, goats, swine and geese to run at large, subject to fines from $2.50 to$10.00 and the lien for damages and care given to the animals.

6. Private Acts of 1911, Chapter 91, Page 210, pronounced it unlawful to permit horses, mules, donkeys, cattle, sheep, goats, hogs, or geese to run at large. The owner, or person in charge, who does so is liable in damages for which the damaged party has a lien for 30 days after trespass or until suit has been filed to enforce the law. Again, the trespassing animals, or fowl, could be taken up and one doing so could recover the expenses incurred thereby.

14. Private Acts of 1937, Chapter 597, Page 1844, stated in the preamble that there is a great need for but neither Sevier nor Blount County has a licensed veterinarian; that W. E. Ballard is a graduate of a veterinarian school of medicine and has accumulated several years of experience. The act declares that W. E. Ballard is entitled to practice veterinary medicine, and surgery, anywhere within the boundaries of Sevier and Blount Counties and he is vested with all the powers and privileges of any other veterinarian as long as he confines his practice to those areas.


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