|Posted:||March 30, 2017 11:53 AM|
|From:||Representative Dom Costa|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Animal Fighting Legislation|
|In the near future, I will reintroduce legislation – former House Bill 1469 of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session – to add animal fighting to the list of offenses that are enforceable under the state’s racketeering provisions in Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).
Presently, the offenses included under the state’s racketeering provisions are wide ranging such as insurance fraud, bribery, kidnapping, theft, and bookmaking. Adding animal fighting with these other crimes will not only address a pattern of illegal activity related to gang and organized crime, it will also provide added tools to prosecutors who target these offenses both on the county and statewide level, including longer penalties and higher fines.
Currently, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah and Virginia have already begun to combat the disturbing growth in animal fighting in this manner. It is my hope that this bill will result in enhanced investigations and enforcement, and will be successful in the increased prosecution of organized animal fighting within the Commonwealth.
Colleagues, please join me in co-sponsoring this much-needed legislation.
Introduced as HB1197