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New Jersey lawmakers poised to consider measure that would outlaw dog fighting

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TRENTON, New Jersey — Dog fighting and leading a dog-fighting network could soon be explicitly outlawed in New Jersey.

Current law lists animal fighting as a third-degree criminal offense. But a bill the state Senate is set to vote on Monday makes dog fighting and leading such a network illegal.

The legislation would also classify leading a dog-fighting network as a racketeering crime. It would be punishable by five to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.

The bill also explicitly rules out two possible defenses. The measure says it's not a defense if the dog is intended to be transported to another state or if a defendant is under someone else's supervision or management.

A similar bill has been introduced in the Assembly.

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