Taking the Teeth out of Animal Fighting

Seth Victor

Oh, Magoo, you’ve done it again. And by Magoo, I of course mean New York, which as a state is doing a fine job staying on the forefront of advances in animal law. Recently the state assembly passed this nice new bit of legislation, which makes it a class B misdemeanor to possess, with the intent to use, animal fighting paraphernalia. That’s up to 90 days in jail upon conviction. Certain items such as breaking sticks and fighting pits are specified and defined, but there is also a catch-all provision for “any other instrument commonly used in the furtherance of pitting an animal against another animal.”

I like the idea of going after the materials used in animal fighting. It’s one of the more preventative measures I’ve seen. Prosecuting dog fights is all very important, but those animals are often far too damaged at that point. With this kind of approach, the fighting rings can be shut down before they happen. The mens rea will prevent wanton application of the law. Hopefully showing intent will not be too big of a hurdle for the courts. Then again, I’m not sure what else a “cat mill” could be used to do.

6 Responses

  1. Thanks for the good news, Seth.

    Does anyone besides me think it should be a felony, not simply a misdemeanor, to possess dog-fighting paraphernalia? Or is that asking for too much and thus unlikely to have passed?

  2. I agree it should be a felony but never-the-less applaud NY for passing the law. When it comes to combating animal fighting investigators need all the tools they can get. This is great news, thanks for sharing!

  3. Many subjects are rife with a complexity that slips the grasp of polarized views and quasi-religious ideology.

    Forced animal fighting seems one of those with the dubious distinction of being blatantly and devilishly simple.

    I don’t think it can be reasonably viewed as anything but wrong.

  4. The bad thing about the breaking stick ban is that sometimes these devices are only way to release a pit bull’s grip upon another animal–such as another person’s pet or service dog. In one of these unintentional dogfights, seconds count.

    However, there is no other use for the other devices cited, such as rooster spurs and the “catmill,” and I applaud their banning.

  5. New York State deserves a real pat on the back for this. This will open the door for future more strict legislation against these criminals.

  6. The second law signed by the governor this week is A9552A/S6774A sponsored by Assemblyman Jack McEneny and Senator Patty Ritchie . The new law prohibits people from owning, possessing, selling, transferring or manufacturing paraphernalia to be used in animal fighting.

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