Bestiality would be outlawed under NJ Assembly bill
New Jersey bans a lot of things, but apparently bestiality is not one of them.
A measure that has begun advancing in the Legislature seeks to change that.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee today voted 6-0 to approve a bill (A3012) that would explicitly ban human sexual activity with animals.
Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-Somerset), the bill’s sponsor, said the idea came from an intern in his office.
“I wish I could take credit for the bill but I cannot,”Ciattarelli said.
Ciattarelli said New Jersey is one of 14 states as of March 2014 that doesn’t explicitly ban bestiality, although it does have animal cruelty laws. He noted that animal cruelty charges in 2009 were dropped against a Moorestown resident who allegedly molested cows.
“There was a pretty high profile case in New Jersey in the last couple years where the prosecutors could not leverage our animal cruelty laws well enough to prosecute the case as they would have liked to,” Ciattarelli said.
Bestiality would be a fourth degree crime, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. But it would be upgradable to a third degree crime if the animal dies as a result of it.
To become law, the bill would need to pass both the Assembly and Senate and be approved by Gov. Chris Christie. But nobody in the state Senate has introduced a similar measure.
The bill says "sexual contact" does not "include any medical procedure performed by a licensed veterinarian practicing veterinary medicine or an accepted animal husbandry practice."
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