Kean/Singleton Bill Making Trunk Fighting A Crime Becomes Law

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Troy Singleton making trunk fighting with dogs an animal cruelty offense and a crime of the third degree was signed today by Governor Murphy.

The new law, S-975, defines trunk fighting as enclosing two or more dogs in the trunk of a motor vehicle and instigating them to fight to the death.

“Trunk fighting is morally reprehensible,” said Kean (R-21). “In New Jersey, we will not tolerate this barbaric and despicable activity. With this law, we are 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.

“Man and dog have shared a special bond for thousands of years,” Kean continued. “This bill restores the bond between the species, and ensures dogs are treated like companions, not combatants.”

In addition to making trunk fighting a third-degree crime, the law provides for civil penalties up to $5,000 for each offense.

“During my time in the Legislature, I have sponsored multiple proposals to prioritize animal welfare,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “Trunk fighting is a horrifying act of animal cruelty where dogs are provoked to fight to their death in the trunk of a car. It is disgusting and it will not be tolerated in New Jersey with this new law. Those who commit this crime must be brought to justice and be punished accordingly.”

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