New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean Bill Establishing Crime of Trunk Fighting Clears Senate Budget Committee

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The Legislation Protects Dogs from Inhumane Torture

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s legislation strengthening New Jersey’s laws against animal cruelty advanced today with approval from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

The Senate budget committee approved Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s bill to make trunk fighting an animal cruelty offense and a crime of the third degree. (Flickr)

Kean’s bill, S-975, establishes the contemptible act of “trunk fighting” as an animal cruelty offense and a crime of the third degree. As defined by the measure, trunk fighting is the barbaric practice of enclosing two or more dogs in the trunk of a motor vehicle and instigating them to fight to the death.

“The thirst for blood and money can overwhelm common decency in some individuals, and they abuse dogs for amusement and financial gain,” said Kean (R-21). “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.”

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

“The practice of trunk fighting is morally reprehensible,” said Kean. “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.”

In October, the bill cleared the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

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