Senator Boyle's Bill to Allow Electronic Surveillance Warrants for Animal Fighting Signed Into Law

New York State Senator Phil Boyle (R-C-I, Suffolk County) today announced that his bill (S611), which adds animal fighting to the list of crimes eligible to seek a warrant to conduct electronic eavesdropping or video surveillance, has been signed into law by the Governor. This new law expands the tools available to law enforcement to stop animal fighting and at the same time, potentially uncover gang-related activity.

Senator Boyle said, “Animal fighting fuels some of the most violent enterprises that corrupt our neighborhoods, and many people did not know that animal fighting was not eligible for a warrant to conduct electronic surveillance. Apart from the well-established social science link between violence against animals and violence against people, law enforcement throughout the state has seen first-hand that vigorous investigations and prosecutions of animal fighting exposes gang networks, narcotics rings, weapons trafficking activity, and other sophisticated and violent criminal enterprises. I applaud Governor Cuomo for signing this measure into law, and I’d like to thank the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States for their advocacy on this important issue.”

Animal fighting is the pitting of two or more animals against each other for amusement and often requires the colluding of many individuals by using telephones and web-based communications devices. During law enforcement agencies’ active pursuit to bring down illegal animal fighting rings, they’ve also seized guns and heroin, found gang activity, uncovered domestic abuse and child abuse, and rescued countless dogs from a lifetime of torture.

The new law will qualify law enforcement to obtain a warrant to conduct electronic surveillance and provide prosecutors with a valuable tool to combat heinous crimes against animals.