ASSEMBLY, No. 822

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2010 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  NELSON T. ALBANO

District 1 (Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland)

Assemblyman  MATTHEW W. MILAM

District 1 (Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Prieto

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Revises animal fighting laws; increases existing, and establishes new, penalties.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning animal fighting, and amending R.S.4:22-24 and R.S.4:22-26, and supplementing chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    R.S.4:22-24 is amended to read as follows:

     4:22-24.  a.  A person who shall:

     [a.  Keep, use, be connected with or interested in the management of, or receive money for the admission of a person to]

     (1)   Recklessly or negligently allow, as the owner or the person in possession of the real property , a place [kept or] to be used for the purpose of [fighting or] baiting [a living animal or creature;

     b.] animals, fighting between animals, or training animals for fighting; or

     (2) Be present [and] , witness, pay admission to, [encourage or] assist [therein;

     c.     Permit or suffer a place owned or controlled by him to be so used;

     d.    For amusement or gain, cause, allow, or permit the fighting or baiting of a living animal or creature;

     e.     Own, possess, keep, train, promote, purchase, or knowingly sell a living animal or creature for the purpose of fighting or baiting that animal or creature; or

     f.     Gamble] in or encourage an animal fight, or gamble on the outcome of [a] an animal fight [involving a living animal or creature]  --

     Shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.

     b.  A person who shall purposely or knowingly:

     (1)   Organize a fight between animals or the gambling on the outcome of the animal fight;

     (2)   Collect or hold the bets for such gambling on the outcome of an animal fight;

     (3)   As the owner or the person in possession of the real property, provide or allow to be used, for personal amusement or monetary gain, a place for the purpose of baiting animals, fighting between animals, holding organized animal fights, or training animals for fighting; or

     (4)   Own, possess, keep, train, promote, purchase, breed or sell any animal for the purpose of fighting between animals or baiting animals to engage in fighting ---

     Shall be guilty of a crime of the second degree.

     c.     Each animal being used in a fight, bred, trained, or used for fighting, baited, or attacked by a baited animal in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense.

(cf: P.L.1989, c.35, s.1)

 

     2.    R.S.4:22-26 is amended to read as follows:

     4:22-26.  A person who shall:

     a.     (1) Overdrive, overload, drive when overloaded, overwork, deprive of necessary sustenance, abuse, or needlessly kill a living animal or creature, or cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature, any such acts to be done;

     (2)   Torment, torture, maim, hang, poison, unnecessarily or cruelly beat, or needlessly mutilate a living animal or creature, or cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature, any such acts to be done;

     (3)   Cruelly kill, or cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature, the cruel killing of, a living animal or creature, or otherwise cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature, the death of a living animal or creature from commission of any act described in paragraph (2) of this subsection;

     b.    (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2003, c.232) [.]

     c.     Inflict unnecessary cruelty upon a living animal or creature, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature; or unnecessarily fail to provide a living animal or creature of which the person has charge either as an owner or otherwise with proper food, drink, shelter or protection from the weather; or leave it unattended in a vehicle under inhumane conditions adverse to the health or welfare of the living animal or creature;

     d.    Receive or offer for sale a horse that is suffering from abuse or neglect, or which by reason of disability, disease, abuse or lameness, or any other cause, could not be worked, ridden or otherwise used for show, exhibition or recreational purposes, or kept as a domestic pet without violating the provisions of this article;

     e.     [Keep, use, be connected with or interested in the management of, or receive money or other consideration for the admission of a person to, a place kept or used for the purpose of fighting or baiting a living animal or creature] Organize a fight between animals or the gambling on the outcome of the animal fight; collect or hold the bets for such gambling on the outcome of an animal fight; or as the owner or the person in possession of the real property, provide the property to be used, for personal amusement or monetary gain, as a place for the purpose of baiting animals, fighting between animals, holding organized animal fights, or training animals for fighting;

     f.     Be present [and] , witness, pay admission to, encourage, [aid] or assist in [an activity enumerated in subsection e. of this section] an animal fight, or gamble on the outcome of an animal fight;

     g.     [Permit or suffer a place owned or controlled by him to be used as provided in subsection e. of this section] Allow, as the owner or the person in possession of the real property, a place to be used for the purpose of baiting animals, fighting between animals, or training animals for fighting;

     h.     Carry, or cause to be carried, a living animal or creature in or upon a vehicle or otherwise, in a cruel or inhumane manner;

     i.      Use a dog or dogs for the purpose of drawing or helping to draw a vehicle for business purposes;

     j.     Impound or confine or cause to be impounded or confined in a pound or other place a living animal or creature, and shall fail to supply it during such confinement with a sufficient quantity of good and wholesome food and water;

     k.    Abandon a maimed, sick, infirm or disabled animal or creature to die in a public place;

     l.      Willfully sell, or offer to sell, use, expose, or cause or permit to be sold or offered for sale, used or exposed, a horse or other animal having the disease known as glanders or farcy, or other contagious or infectious disease dangerous to the health or life of human beings or animals, or who shall, when any such disease is beyond recovery, refuse, upon demand, to deprive the animal of life;

     m.    Own, operate, manage or conduct a roadside stand or market for the sale of merchandise along a public street or highway; or a shopping mall, or a part of the premises thereof; and keep a living animal or creature confined, or allowed to roam in an area whether or not the area is enclosed, on these premises as an exhibit; except that this subsection shall not be applicable to:  a pet shop licensed pursuant to P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1 et seq.); a person who keeps an animal, in a humane manner, for the purpose of the protection of the premises; or a recognized breeders' association, a 4-H club, an educational agricultural program, an equestrian team, or a humane society conducting an exhibition, show or performance;

     n.     Keep or exhibit a wild animal at a roadside stand or market located along a public street or highway of this State; a gasoline station; or a shopping mall, or a part of the premises thereof;

     o.    Sell, offer for sale, barter or give away or display live baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl or rabbits, turtles or chameleons which have been dyed or artificially colored or otherwise treated so as to impart to them an artificial color;

     p.    Use any animal, reptile, or fowl for the purpose of soliciting any alms, collections, contributions, subscriptions, donations, or payment of money except in connection with exhibitions, shows or performances conducted in a bona fide manner by recognized breeders' associations, 4-H clubs or other similar bona fide organizations;

     q.    Sell or offer for sale, barter, or give away living rabbits, turtles, baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl under two months of age, for use as household or domestic pets;

     r.     Sell, offer for sale, barter or give away living baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl, or rabbits, turtles or chameleons under two months of age for any purpose not prohibited by subsection q. of this section and who shall fail to provide proper facilities for the care of such animals;

     s.     Artificially mark sheep or cattle, or cause them to be marked, by cropping or cutting off both ears, cropping or cutting either ear more than one inch from the tip end thereof, or half cropping or cutting both ears or either ear more than one inch from the tip end thereof, or who shall have or keep in the person's possession sheep or cattle, which the person claims to own, marked contrary to this subsection unless they were bought in market or of a stranger;

     t.     Abandon a domesticated animal;

     u.     [For amusement or gain, cause, allow, or permit the fighting or baiting of a living animal or creature;] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.     , c.   (C.   ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)

     v.     Own, possess, keep, train, promote, purchase, breed, or [knowingly] sell a living animal or creature for the purpose of fighting between animals or baiting [that animal or creature] animals to engage in fighting;

     w.    [Gamble on the outcome of a fight involving a living animal or creature;] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.     , c.   (C.   ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)

     x.     Knowingly sell or barter or offer for sale or barter, at wholesale or retail, the fur or hair of a domestic dog or cat or any product made in whole or in part from the fur or hair of a domestic dog or cat, unless such fur or hair for sale or barter is from a commercial grooming establishment or a veterinary office or clinic or is for use for scientific research;

     y.     Knowingly sell or barter or offer for sale or barter, at wholesale or retail, for human consumption, the flesh of a domestic dog or cat or any product made in whole or in part from the flesh of a domestic dog or cat;

     z.     Surgically debark or silence a dog in violation of section 1 or 2 of P.L.2002, c.102 (C.4:19-38 or C.4:19-39);

     aa.   Use a live pigeon, fowl or other bird for the purpose of a target, or to be shot at either for amusement or as a test of skill in marksmanship, except that this subsection and subsections bb. and cc. shall not apply to the shooting of game;

     bb.  Shoot at a bird used as described in subsection aa. of this section, or is a party to such shooting; or

     cc.   Lease a building, room, field or premises, or knowingly permit the use thereof for the purposes of subsection aa. or bb. of this section --

     Shall forfeit and pay a sum according to the following schedule, to be sued for and recovered, with costs, in a civil action by any person in the name of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or a county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, as appropriate, or, in the name of the municipality if brought by a certified animal control officer or animal cruelty investigator:

     For a violation of subsection e., g., or v. of this section, a sum of not less than $5,000 nor more than $7,500;

     For a violation of subsection [e.,] f. [, g., u., v., w.,] or z. of this section or of paragraph (3) of subsection a. of this section, or for a second or subsequent violation of paragraph (2) of subsection a. of this section, a sum of not less than $3,000 nor more than $5,000;

     For a violation of subsection l. of this section or for a first violation of paragraph (2) of subsection a. of this section, a sum of not less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000;

     For a violation of subsection x. or y. of this section, a sum of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for each domestic dog or cat fur or fur or hair product or domestic dog or cat carcass or meat product;

     For a violation of subsection t. of this section, a sum of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, but if the violation occurs on or near a highway, a mandatory sum of $1,000;

     For a violation of subsection c., d., h., j., k., aa., bb., or cc. of this section or of paragraph (1) of subsection a. of this section, a sum of not less than $250 nor more than $1,000; and

     For a violation of subsection i., m., n., o., p., q., r., or s. of this section, a sum of not less than $250 nor more than $500.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.372, s.16)

 

     3.    (New section) Any person who has been found guilty of a criminal offense violating the provisions of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes is subject to a maximum fine as provided under N.J.S.2C:43-3, and shall be subject to a minimum fine of not less than:

a.     $10,000 when the offense is a crime of the first degree;

b.    $5,000 when the offense is a crime of the second degree;

c.     $3,000 when the offense is a crime of the third degree;

d.    $1,000 when the offense is a crime of the fourth degree; or

e.     $500 when the offense is a disorderly persons offense.

 

4.    (New section) a.  In addition to imposing any other appropriate penalties established for an offense pursuant to Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes or chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, the court:

     (1)   may impose on a person convicted of a criminal offense in violation of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes who is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, an additional term of community service of up to 30 days;

     (2)   shall impose a term of community service of not less than 30 days for any person convicted of a criminal offense in violation of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes who is not sentenced to a term of imprisonment;

     (3)   may direct that the term of community service imposed pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection be served by providing assistance to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or any other recognized organization concerned with the prevention of cruelty to animals or the humane treatment and care of animals, or to a municipality's animal control or animal population control program, provided that the organization or municipality, as the case may be, consents to the placement of the violator and conditions for the placement are established to ensure that the service is appropriately supervised and that no animals are placed at risk by the violator's service; and

     (4)   may require the violator to pay restitution or otherwise reimburse any costs for food, drink, shelter, or veterinary care or treatment, or other costs, incurred by the owner of the animal, if the owner is not the person committing the act of cruelty, to any individual, agency, entity, or organization bearing such costs or investigating the violation, including, but not limited to, the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, any other recognized organization concerned with the prevention of cruelty to animals or the humane treatment and care of animals, a local or State governmental entity, or a kennel, shelter, pound, or the facility providing for the shelter and care of the animal or animals involved in the violation.

     b.    The court also:

     (1)   shall order a person guilty of a violation of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes that constitutes a crime of the third, second, or first degree to receive mental health counseling by a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist for a period of time prescribed by the licensed psychologist or therapist, the cost of which shall be paid by the person guilty of the offense;

     (2)   shall order a juvenile adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a violation of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes and a crime of the fourth, third, second, or first degree to receive mental health counseling by a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist for a period of time prescribed by the licensed psychologist or therapist, the cost of which shall be paid by the parents or other legal guardian of the juvenile; and

     (3)   may order a person found guilty of any other violation of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, or a juvenile adjudicated delinquent for such an act, to receive mental health counseling by a licensed psychologist or therapist for a period of time prescribed by the licensed psychologist or therapist, the cost of which shall be paid by the person found guilty or the legal guardians of the juvenile, as applicable.

     c.     In addition to any other penalty or penalties imposed, the court may order a person found guilty of a violation of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes to forfeit the possession of any animal involved in the commission of the offense, and may order custody and care of the animal assigned to an appropriate person, organization, or entity.  When the court orders a defendant to forfeit possession of an animal, the court may further order that all rights to possess the animal be given over to an appropriate person or agency demonstrating a willingness to accept and care for the animal or to an appropriate animal care agency for further disposition in accordance with accepted practices for humane treatment of animals. The court may also order forfeiture of other animals owned by, or in the possession of, the defendant, and that all rights to possess any such animal be given over to an appropriate person, organization, or entity.

     Except in cases of extreme financial hardship, the court shall require a person subject to forfeiture of an animal pursuant to this subsection or other provisions of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes to post a bond or make other appropriate financial arrangements to pay for the cost of caring for the animal while it is held at a kennel, shelter, pound, or other facility for the temporary care and housing of animals, including the cost of any veterinary care addressing any bodily injury caused by the violation of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes that resulted in the forfeiture of the animal.

     d.    The court may order restrictions on the ownership of an animal by a person found guilty of any violation of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, including, but not limited to, imposing a prohibition from ownership or care of an animal for a period of time or permanent prohibition from owning or caring for any animal for the natural life of the person.


     5.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill amends current law concerning animal fighting.   Under current law, all offenses relating to animal fighting are crimes of the third degree.  Under the bill,  it would be a crime of the second degree for a person to purposely or knowingly:

     1)    organize a fight between animals or the gambling on the outcome of the animal fight;

     2)    collect or holds the bets for such gambling on the outcome of an animal fight;

     3)    as the owner or the person in possession of the real property, provide or allow to be used, for personal amusement or monetary gain, a place for the purpose of baiting animals, fighting between animals, holding organized animal fights, or training animals for fighting; or

     4)    own, possess, keep, train, promote, purchase, breed or sell any animal for the purpose of fighting between animals or baiting animals to engage in fighting.

     The bill revises other animal fighting offenses under current law, but they remain crimes of the third degree.  They are:

     1)    recklessly or negligently allowing, as the owner or the person in possession of the real property, a place to be used for the purpose of baiting animals, fighting between animals, or training animals for fighting; and

     2)    being present, witnessing, paying admission to, assisting in or encouraging an animal fight, or gambling on the outcome of an animal fight.