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New Jersey State Senate Minority Leader Thomas H. Kean, Jr., (R-Westfield)

Senate committee clears anti-dogfighting bill

Measure would criminalize locking animals in vehicle trunks and instigating fights

By Nikita Biryukov, January 21 2021 2:29 pm

The Senate Budget Committee advanced a bill banning trunk fighting, a particularly vicious form of dogfighting in which animals are locked in the trunk of a car and prodded into combat, Monday.

“The practice of trunk fighting is morally reprehensible,” said Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-Westfield), the bill’s sponsor. “It will not be tolerated in New Jersey. We’re sending a clear message to anyone who would consider fighting dogs in this most inhumane manner that they will face significant penalties and substantial fines.”

The bill would make trunk fighting and animal cruelty offense and a crime of the third degree, carrying penalties of up to five years in prison and fines of not more than $15,000.

It also imposes a civil fine of $5,000 for each offense.

“The thirst for blood and money can overwhelm common decency in some individuals, and they abuse dogs for amusement and financial gain,” Kean said. “Humans and dogs have shared a mutually beneficial relationship for more than 15,000 years. This bill strengthens the bond between the species, and ensures dogs are treated like companions, not combatants.”

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