TRENTON, NJ – Governor Murphy signed into law on Tuesday a measure sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) that makes animal trunk fighting illegal in New Jersey.
Trunk fighting is the practice of enclosing two or more animals in the trunk or any part of a motor vehicle for the purpose of the animals attacking each other, and possibly fighting until one or more of the animals are dead.
With this new law, those who are in violation will be subject to a third-degree animal cruelty felony and/or fined up to $5,000 for each offense.
“During my time in the Legislature, I have sponsored multiple proposals to prioritize animal welfare,” said Senator Troy Singleton, who represents Bordentown in the Legislature. “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.”
“Building a stronger and fairer New Jersey includes ensuring animal welfare,” said Governor Murphy. “With today’s bill signing, we are enhancing protections for animals and ensuring that these disturbing activities will not be tolerated.”
“We applaud Governor Murphy for taking action today signing this legislation into law,” said Brian R. Hackett, New Jersey State Director, the Humane Society of the United States. “It continues the positive trend of New Jersey having some of the strongest laws in the country against the cruel blood sport of animal fighting. This illicit activity harms animals and the very fabric of our communities and has no place in our society today.”
“We are thrilled Governor Murphy signed legislation banning trunk fighting, the barbaric practice of forcing two dogs into the trunk of a car to fight to the death,” said Laurie Perla, representative of the Animal Protection League of New Jersey. “This demonstrates Governor Murphy’s continued commitment to enacting humane legislation.”
"The American Kennel Clubs lauds the leadership of Senators Kean, Singleton, Dancer, Houghtaling and Swain, and Governor Murphy in making trunk fighting a felony,” said Sheila Goffe, VP of Government Relations at The American Kennel Club. “Organized dog fighting is a deplorable practice, and AKC is proud to strongly support leadership and legislation that makes participating in organized dog fighting a felony offense."
The bipartisan legislation, S-975, was also sponsored by Senators Tom Kean, Jr., Ronald Dancer, Eric Houghtaling and Lisa Swain. To read the bill, click HERE.