TRENTON — A different, mobile method of dog fighting would be added as an animal cruelty crime under a measure that has now gone to the governor’s desk.

Legislation to make “trunk fighting” illegal was first introduced in 2013, by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-Ocean.

A newer version of the bill has unanimously passed both houses of the Legislature. It would make the activity a third-degree animal cruelty offense.

Trunk fighting, which began in Florida, uses loud music, motion from driving around or other prompting to provoke two animals to attack each other while locked in the trunk of a vehicle.

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Individuals bet on which animal will come out alive or the least injured. The fights often last until one of the animals is killed, while any animal that survives is likely to be used again in another fight.

If signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy, those caught violating the law would face fines up to $15,000 and three to five years in prison.

“Pitting two animals against each other in a fight to the death for money is sickening enough. Now these criminals have gone mobile,” Dancer said in a written statement. “They have taken their gambling rings on the road in order to avoid raids by law enforcement.”

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Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

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