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New York Enacts Stronger Law to Discourage Animal Fighting

PitbullLookingUp_125.jpgNew laws enacted in the State of New York will better protect animals from the grisly animal fighting industry. Earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill sponsored by NY assemblyman John McEneny and Senator Patricia Ritchie to prohibit manufacturing, sale, and possession of items used in the animal fighting trade.

"There was a void there. If you didn't catch them in the act, if no one testified, how do you prosecute?" "It's a very big issue both for dog and cock fighting, and they are both very common,” McEneny said in a Wall Street Journal article after the passage of the bill.

Animal fighting tools include razor sharp knives used to slash roosters’ feet, cat mills that provoke the biting of other animals, and other, more sinister devices like the rape stand. While catching a criminal in the act of conducting a dog or cock fight might be difficult, the possession of these items indicates participation in the “sport.” And the existence of these tools might also implicate their owners in other unrelated crimes.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, some 70 percent of convicted animal fighters were also involved in other criminal activities like domestic violence, drug offenses, sex crimes, and child endangerment. And by its inherent nature, dog fighting is a gambling sport.

“Animal fighting is a cruel and senseless act that involves a host of other criminal activities,” said Brian Shapiro, New York state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States praises Assembly Member John McEneny and Senator Patty Ritchie for championing this anti-crime and anti-cruelty bill and we are so glad Governor Cuomo signed it into law.”

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