Dog fighting could be added to the list of crimes under New Jersey’s racketeering statutes known as RICO.
A bill establishing the crimes of dog fighting and leading a dog-fighting network is due to be considered Thursday by the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee.
Offenders could face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Animal fighting in general is already against the law in the state. This bill codifies the crime under RICO and adds the crime of supervising a dog-fight network.
The measure would order the courts to seize dogs used as fighters or bait, and allow judges to bar offenders from owning animals in the future.
A similar bill stalled during the prior legislative session.