Bestiality bill clears N.J. Assembly panel

A New Jersey Assembly committee has approved a bill that would make it illegal for people to have sex with animals.

New Jersey is one of 14 states that does not explicitly ban bestiality.

The bill’s sponsor says the state’s animal cruelty laws just don’t cut it.

Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli of Somerset County tells The Star-Ledger of Newark prosecutors had to drop animal cruelty charges against a Moorestown resident in 2009 who was accused of molesting cows.

The bill would make bestiality a fourth-degree crime, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The penalties would be upgraded if the animal dies.

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