Animal Fighting: Related Statutes

Statute by categorysort descending Citation Summary
NJ - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes NJSA 4:22-10 to 4:22-60; NJSA 2C:33-31 - 32 These New Jersey statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty provisions. According to the definitional section, "animal" or "creature" includes the whole brute creation. Exclusions under the act include state regulated scientific experiments, state sanctioned killing of animals, hunting of game, training of dogs, normal livestock operations, and the killing of rats and mice. With regard to livestock practices, no person may be cited or arrested for a first offense involving a minor or incidental violation of any provision of this title involving alleged cruelty to domestic livestock unless that person has first been issued a written warning.
NM - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes NMSA 1978, § 30-18-1 to 30-18-16; NMSA 1978, § 77-18-2 to 4 This section comprises the New Mexico anti-animal cruelty provisions. As used in this section, "animal" does not include insects or reptiles. Cruelty to animals occurs when a person mistreats, injures, kills without lawful justification or torments an animal or abandons or fails to provide necessary sustenance to an animal under that person's custody or control. Extreme cruelty to animals, a fourth-degree felony, consists of a person intentionally or maliciously torturing, mutilating, injuring or poisoning an animal or maliciously killing an animal. Upon conviction, the court may order a person to participate in an animal cruelty prevention program or an animal cruelty education program, or to obtain psychological counseling for treatment of a mental health disorder.
NV - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes N. R. S. 574.010 to 574.550; N.R.S. 202.487; N.R.S. 201.455 This comprehensive section comprises the Nevada anti-cruelty statutes. The section first empowers private prevention of cruelty to animals societies and outlines their powers and responsibilities, including the power to arrest. Under this section, "animal" does not include the human race, but includes every other living creature. Animal cruelty, as described in Section 574.100, prohibits the overdriving, overloading, torture, cruel beating or unjustifiable injuring, maiming, mutilation or killing of an animal, as well as the deprivation of necessary sustenance, food or drink. The first offense under this section is a misdemeanor with enhancement to a felony for a third or subsequent convictions. Animals fighting is also prohibited under the section, with enhanced sentences for subsequent convictions. Other specific crimes include mistreatment of dogs, abandonment of animals, poisoning (although the section does not prohibit the destruction of "noxious animals"), and basic requirements for the care of dogs and cats kept in kennels or sold by pounds or pet shops.
NY - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 331 - 382; McKinney's Penal Law § 130.20 These New York statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty provisions. "Animal" includes every living creature except a human being. A person who overdrives, overloads, tortures or cruelly beats or unjustifiably injures, maims, mutilates or kills any animal, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, food or drink, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by both. Exclusions include properly conducted scientific tests, experiments or investigations, involving the use of living animals approved by the state commissioner of health.
OH - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes R.C. § 959.01 - 959.99 These statutes comprise Ohio's anti-animal cruelty and animal fighting provisions. Included in the prohibited acts are abandoning domestic animals, willfully injuring or poisoning domestic or agricultural animals, drugging animals in competition, and "cruel" acts to both wild and domestic animals as defined by statute. The section also prohibits dogfighting and cockfighting.
OK - Cruelty - Animal Facilities Protection Act/Consolidated Cruelty Laws 21 Okl. St. Ann. 1680 - 1700; 21 Okl. St. Ann. § 886 These Oklahoma statutes comprise the Animal Protection Act. The main thrust of the act is the prohibition of animal cruelty and animal fighting. Included in the provisions are the definitions (including the statutory definition of "animal") and the prohibited acts related to animal facilities. The statute further provides that no one shall intentionally damage the enterprise conducted at an animal facility (including releasing animals there with the intent to deprive the owner of such facility). Violation incurs a felony with a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment up to seven years or both.
OK - Initiative - State Question 687/Initiative Petition 365 (Ban Cockfighting) State Question 687/Initiative Petition 365 (Ban Cockfighting) This petition makes it a felony to instigate or encourage cockfighting, possess or train birds for cockfighting, or maintain a facility for cockfighting in the state of Oklahoma. The ballot proposal also makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly be a spectator at a cockfight. It passed in 2002 with 56% of the vote.
OR - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes O. R. S. § 167.305 - 439 These Oregon statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty laws. "Animal" means any nonhuman mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian or fish. The term "assault," which is generally associated with human crimes, is used to define certain crimes against animals. Animal abuse may be elevated to a felony offense if the act was committed directly in front of a minor child or if the perpetrator was previously convicted of domestic violence.
PA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5531 - 5561; 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3129; 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8340.3 This document contains Pennsylvania's anti-cruelty laws that were amended in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, the state added a rescue and immunity provision for dogs and cats in "hot cars." Section 5532 covers neglect of animal and states that a person who has care of animal must provide: (1) necessary sustenance and potable water; (2) access to clean and sanitary shelter and protection from the weather; and (3) necessary veterinary care. Violation is a summary offense unless the violation causes bodily injury or puts the animal in imminent danger of bodily injury (then, it is a misdemeanor of third degree). A person commits cruelty to animals (Sec. 5533) if he or she intentionally, knowingly or recklessly illtreats, overloads, beats, abandons or abuses an animal. Aggravated cruelty is provided by Sec. 5534 and is defined as torture, or neglect or cruelty that causes serious bodily injury or death of an animal. Such conduct is a felony of the third degree. Another section creates legal presumptions with regard to tethering of a dog that relate to the length of time tethered, the type of collar/tether, and even the outside temperature (both low and high temperatures). Section 5539 makes it unlawful to transport an equine animal in or upon a vehicle with two or more levels stacked on top of one another. The state also prohibits the cropping of dogs' ears, debarking of dogs, docking of dogs' tails, performance of surgical births of dogs, and declawing of cats by persons other than veterinary doctors while the animals are anesthetized. Animal fighting is prohibited in the chapter as a felony of the third degree. Other provisions concern selling of dog and cat pelts, live animals as prizes, and harassment of service and police animals. Exemptions under the act include state game/hunting laws, the killing of a dog or cat in accordance with the Animal Destruction Method Authorization Law, the killing of an animal found pursuing domestic animals/fowl, destruction of public nuisance dogs, pest control, "[s]hooting activities not otherwise prohibited under this subchapter," and the authorized use of research animals.
Poarch Creek Band of Indians of Alabama. 8-6-31-Cruelty to Animals Chapter VI, Title 8, Section 8-6-31 Under Sec. 8-6-31, cruelty to animals is a Class A Misdemeanor. A person who, without justification, knowingly or negligently subjects an animal to mistreatment by actions defined in the statute commit the crime of cruelty to animals.
RI - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Laws (Chapter 1. Cruelty to Animals) Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-1-1 - 43; Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-1.2-1 - 5; Gen.Laws 1956, § 11-10-1 These Rhode Island statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions. The cruelty law provides that whoever overdrives, overloads, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, or cruelly beats, mutilates or kills any animal is subject to imprisonment up to 11 months, or a fine of $50.00 - $500, or both. The intentional cruelty provision expands the penalty to 2 years possible imprisonment or a fine of $1,000, or both.
RU - Cruelty - Responsible Treatment of Animals Responsible Treatment of Animals The Law on Responsible Treatment of Animals, signed by Vladimir Putin in 2018, prohibits the killing of animals “under any pretext.” The law also outlaws shooting or poisoning stray dogs and cats, which has occurred in Russian cities in recent years according to news sources. Under the law, owners must keep their pets in proper conditions and homeless animals must be taken-up, vaccinated, sterilized, and then released by local agencies. One of the primary purposes of the laws is to ban petting zoos at malls and the practice of bars and restaurants hosting animals. The conducting of animal fights is also banned under the new law.
SC - Dogfighting - Chapter 27. Animal Fighting and Baiting Act. Code 1976 § 16-27-10 to 80 This South Carolina section comprises the state's Animal Fighting and Baiting Act. Under the Act, any person who owns an animal for the purpose of fighting or baiting, is a party to any fighting or baiting of any animal, or obtains the use of any structure for the purpose of fighting or baiting any animal is guilty of a felony and upon conviction must be punished by a fine of $5000 or 5 years imprisonment or both. The section also provides for seizure and forfeiture of animals used in fighting operations.
Scotland - Animal Welfare - Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Act 2020 Scotland Act 2020 Scotland's 2020 legislation increased maximum available penalties for the most serious animal welfare offences, involving domesticated or wild animals, up to 5 years imprisonment and unlimited fines. Serious crimes include animal fighting and causing unnecessary suffering. The Act also prevents those who attack service animals in the course of their duties from relying on self-defence. Further, the Act requires the courts to consider whether disqualification orders are necessary to protect animal welfare, and to provide its reasons for reaching its decision in every case that reaches court.
Scotland - Animal Welfare - Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Act 2020 2020 asp 14 This Act increased the maximum penalty for the most serious animal welfare and wildlife crimes in Scotland to five years imprisonment and unlimited fines. This includes penalties under the The Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, The Protection of Badgers Act 1992, the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996, the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996, and other animal welfare related legislation in Scotland. These include the offence of unnecessary suffering and animal fighting. The Act also incorporated 'Finn's Law' which will prevent those that harm service animals in the course of their duties from claiming that they did so in self-defence. The Act also creates new powers (by way of future secondary legislation) to impose fixed penalty notices for less serious offences. Further, the Act restricts licensing for the killing of seals, and provides mountain hares with general protection from killing.
SD - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes S D C L § 9-29-11; S D C L § 40-1-1 - 41; S D C L § 40-2-1 - 9; S D C L § 43-39-12, 12.1; SDCL § 22-22-42, 43, 44 These South Dakota statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions. "Animal," any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish, except humans. "Cruelty” means to intentionally, willfully, and maliciously inflict gross physical abuse on an animal that causes prolonged pain, that causes serious physical injury, or that results in the death of the animal. Any person who subjects an animal to cruelty is guilty of a Class 6 felony. “Neglect,” means to fail to provide food, water, protection from the elements, adequate sanitation, adequate facilities, or care generally considered to be standard and accepted for an animal's health and well-being consistent with the species, breed, physical condition, and type of animal. Any person who neglects an animal is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Exemptions include regulated scientific experiments using live animals and the destruction of dangerous animals.
TN - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes T. C. A. § 39-14-201 to 218; T. C. A. § 40-39-101 - 104 These Tennessee anti-cruelty provisions define "animal" as a domesticated living creature or a wild creature previously captured. A person commits the offense of cruelty to animals (a Class A misdemeanor) if he or she intentionally or knowingly tortures, maims or grossly overworks an animal; fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter for an animal in the person's custody; abandons unreasonably an animal in the person's custody; transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner; or inflicts burns, cuts, lacerations, or other injuries or pain. Animal fighting is also prohibited under this section, with dog fighting incurring a felony penalty and cockfighting resulting in a misdemeanor in most cases. A person commits aggravated cruelty (a Class E felony) to animals when, with aggravated cruelty and with no justifiable purpose, he or she intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury to a companion animal. Exclusions include animal farming, research, veterinary practices, hunting, trapping, "dispatching" rabid animals or wild animals on one's property, among other things.
TX - Cruelty - Chapter 821. Treatment and Disposition of Animals. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 821.001 - 026; § 821.051 - 057; § 821.076 - 081; § 821.101 - 104 This Texas section addresses the treatment of animals and disposition of cruelly treated animals.
TX - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes V.T.C.A., Penal Code § 42.09; § 42.091; § 42.092; § 42.10; § 42.105 These comprise Texas' anti-cruelty laws. Texas has laws that prohibit cruelty to both livestock (sec. 42.09) and non-livestock animals (sec. 42.092). Both laws requires a scienter of intentionally or knowingly, and enumerate limited defenses. "Animal" means a domesticated living creature and wild living creature previously captured but does not include an uncaptured wild creature. Also included is Texas animal fighting provision, which criminalizes being a spectator at an animal fighting exhibition among other things. In 2011, Texas enacted a law prohibiting cockfighting.
TX - Fighting - § 42.10. Dog Fighting. V. T. C. A., Penal Code § 42.10 Texas criminal statute that prohibits dog fighting. Actions ranging from causing a dog to fight with another to attending a dog fight as a spectator are prohibited. To constitute an offense, one must demonstrate the requisite intent of intentionally or knowingly.
US - AWA - 2007 Public Law110-22 2007 PL 110-22 The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2007 was signed into law on May 3, 2007. The law upgrades current penalties by creating felony-level jail time (up to 3 years) for violations of the federal animal fighting law, and it also prohibits interstate and foreign commerce of cockfighting weapons (e.g., knife, gaff, etc.).
US - AWA - Animal Welfare Act 7 USC §§ 2131 - 2159; 18 USC § 49 The AWA is, in the main, a regulatory law that seeks to control who may possess or sell certain animals and the living conditions (for non-agricultural, domestic animals) under which the animals must be kept. The law provides for criminal penalties, civil penalties and revocation of permits for violations of the AWA.
UT - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes U.C.A. 1953 § 76-9-301 - 308 These Utah statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty provisions. "Animal" is defined as a live, nonhuman vertebrate creature, but animals raised for agricultural purposes and wildlife are excluded from the definition. A person is guilty of cruelty to animals if the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence fails to provide necessary food, care, or shelter for an animal in his custody, abandons an animal in the person's custody, transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner, injures an animal, or causes any animal to fight with another animal for amusement or gain. Aggravated cruelty (i.e., torturing, poisoning, or intentionally killing an animal) and dogfighting incur stiffer penalties.
VA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes Va. Code Ann. §§ 3.2-6500 - 6590; Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-361; § 18.2-144.1 These Virginia statutes set forth Title 3.2, the Comprehensive Animal Care laws, which include the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions. For the purposes of Sec. 3.2-6570, the operative animal cruelty law, animal means any nonhuman vertebrate species including fish except those fish captured and killed or disposed of in a reasonable and customary manner. The section has a misdemeanor animal cruelty law as well as a felony provision related to torture or willful infliction of cruelty. The section requires companion animal owners to provide adequate care.
VA - Fighting - § 3.2-6571. Animal fighting; penalty Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6571 This section makes it unlawful to knowingly promote, prepare, engage in or attend an exhibition of the fighting of animals. The violation becomes a Class 6 felony if: 1) one of the animals is a dog; 2) a device or substance is used to enhance the dog's ability to fight; 3) money or something else of value is wagered; 4) admission is paid; 5) an animal is owned or possessed with the intent to engage in an animal fight; or 6) a person causes a minor to attend or undertake in the activities. An animal used in fighting may be confiscated by law enforcement. Additionally, any person convicted of violating any listed provision shall be prohibited by the court from possession or ownership of companion animals or cocks.
VT - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes 13 V.S.A. § 351 - 400; 20 V.S.A. § 2365b; 24 V.S.A. § 1943 This Vermont statutory section contains the amended anti-cruelty and animal fighting laws. Animal cruelty, as defined by § 352, occurs when a person overworks, overloads, tortures, torments, abandons, administers poison to, cruelly beats or mutilates an animal, or deprives an animal which a person owns or possesses of adequate food, water, shelter, rest, sanitation, or necessary medical attention. It is also animal cruelty if one owns, possesses, keeps or trains an animal engaged in an exhibition of fighting. The section excludes scientific research activities, hunting, farming, and veterinary activities among others.
WA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Laws (Chapter 16.52) West's RCWA 16.52.010 - 360 This section of statutes contains Washington's anti-cruelty provisions. Under the section, "animal" means any nonhuman mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian. Sections 16.52.205 and 16.52.207 are the primary anti-cruelty provisions that categorize cruelty in either the first or second degree. A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree (a class C felony) when he or she intentionally inflicts substantial pain on, causes physical injury to, or kills an animal by a means causing undue suffering, or forces a minor to inflict unnecessary pain, injury, or death on an animal. A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree (a misdemeanor) if, under circumstances not amounting to first degree animal cruelty, the person knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal. An owner of an animal is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree the owner knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence fails to provide the animal with necessary food, water, shelter, rest, sanitation, ventilation, space, or medical attention and the animal suffers unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain as a result of the failure, or if he or she abandons the animal.
WI - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes W. S. A. 951.01 - 18; W.S.A. 944.18 This section comprises the Wisconsin anti-cruelty section. Under the section, "animal" includes every living warm-blooded creature (except a human being), reptile, or amphibian. The section prohibits "mistreating animals," which is defined as treating any animal, whether belonging to the person or another, in a cruel manner. This section does not prohibit bona fide experiments carried on for scientific research or normal and accepted veterinary practices. This section also prohibits the instigation of dogfights, and has a unique provisions that prohibits the shooting of caged or staked animals.
WV - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes W. Va. Code, § 7-10-1 to 5; W. Va. Code, § 61-8-19 to 23; W. Va. Code, § 19-33-1 - 5 These West Virginia statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions. If any person cruelly mistreats, abandons or withholds proper sustenance, including food, water, shelter or medical treatment, necessary to sustain normal health and fitness or to end suffering or abandons any animal to die, or uses, trains or possesses any domesticated animal for the purpose of seizing, detaining or maltreating any other domesticated animal, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor. If any person intentionally tortures or maliciously kills an animal, or causes, procures or authorizes any other person to torture or maliciously kill an animal, he or she is guilty of a felony. The provisions of this section do not apply to lawful acts of hunting, fishing, trapping or animal training or farm livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife kept in private or licensed game farms if kept and maintained according to usual and accepted standards of livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife or game farm production and management. The section also prohibits animal fighting, making it a felony if the animal is a dog or other fur-bearing animal ("canine, feline, porcine, bovine, or equine species whether wild or domesticated"), and a misdemeanor if not (i.e., cockfighting).
WY - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes W.S.1977 § 6-3-1001 - 1010; § 6-4-601 This compilation of laws contains Wyoming's anti-cruelty provisions that were amended in 2021. Under the new laws, a person commits cruelty to animals if the person knowingly overrides an animal or drives an animal when overloaded; intentionally or knowingly, unnecessarily injures or beats an animal; or knowingly carries an animal in a manner that poses undue risk of injury or death. Additionally, a person has the charge or custody of any animal under circumstances that manifest "extreme indifference" to the animal's safety, health or life, and fails to provide it with listed necessities, abandons the animal, fails to provide the animal with appropriate care in the case of immediate and obvious serious injury or illness also commits cruelty to animals. Other prohibitions include animal fighting, shooting or poisoning livestock or domestic animals on property where the animal is authorized to be. A first offense of cruelty to animals or of a violation of W.S. 6-3-1003 is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months, a fine of not more than $750.00, or both, with enhanced penalties for subsequent convictions. Felony cruelty to animals occurs when a person commits cruelty to animals as defined in W.S. 6-3-1002(a)(v) through (ix), that results in the death or required euthanasia of the animal; or (ii) knowingly, and with intent to cause death or undue suffering, beats with cruelty, tortures, torments or mutilates an animal. Such acts incur permanent forfeiture of the animal at issue and imprisonment for not more than two years and/or a fine of up to $5,000. With either misdemeanor or felony convictions, the court may order forfeiture of the animals involved, payment of reasonable costs of animal impoundment, and restraints on future ownership of animals. A bestiality law was also enacted in 2021 that prohibits actors from engaging in sexual acts with animals. Violation is a misdemeanor with punishment of up to one year imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

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