Committee Reports

Prosecuting Animal Fighting and Live Animal Cruelty Depictions: Legal Issues Under New York and Federal Law (Reissued January 2014)

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The brutal industry of animal fighting is a national problem. Therefore, this manual will address both the New York State (herein, “NYS” or “State”) and Federal laws, substantive and procedural, involved in prosecuting those who profit from and participate in animal fighting ventures. Animal fighting is one of the many areas in which the states and the Federal government have concurrent jurisdiction. For example, Federal law in the area has not preempted NYS’s right to penalize animal fighting under the New York Agriculture & Markets Law (N.Y. AGRIC. & MKTS. LAW) as it currently does. See People v. Mink, 237 A.D. 2d 664 (N.Y. App. Div. 1997). During recent years, the laws penalizing animal fighting have been strengthened and efforts have been made to more strictly enforce them. For example, as of the date of this manual, both the Kings County, NY and Suffolk County, NY District Attorney’s Offices have units that specialize in the prosecution of animal cruelty cases.

This manual has been prepared by the Animal Law Committee. It is designed primarily for use by persons and agencies with responsibilities regarding animal fighting and animal cruelty in New York. This manual provides general information only and is not intended to advocate or to provide specific legal advice.

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