TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s bill cracking down on an animal cruelty trend known as “trunk fighting” was advanced to the governor’s desk today.
The bill (A3231), unanimously passed by both houses of the Legislature, bans locking dogs or other animals in the trunks of cars in order to have them fight and makes this kind of abuse a third-degree animal cruelty offense.
“Pitting two animals against each other in a fight to the death for money is sickening enough. Now these criminals have gone mobile,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “They have taken their gambling rings on the road in order to avoid raids by law enforcement.”
Trunk fighting, which began as a fad in Florida, uses loud music, motion from driving around or other measures to provoke two animals to attack each other while locked in the trunk of a car. Bettors wager on which animal will come out alive or the least injured. The fights often last until one of the animals is killed, while any animal that survives is likely to be used again in another fight.
“We have to send a clear message to these criminals that New Jersey has no tolerance for such depravity. They will face strict penalties if they are caught engaging in this reprehensible act,” said Dancer.
Under the bill, offenses would be punishable by fines up to $15,000 and three to five years in prison.