ALBANY — Law enforcement agencies will be able to secure court-approved wire taps and video surveillance to investigate dog fighting and other contests involving animal abuse that often are run by gangs, according to a measure signed into law Monday.
The law sponsored by Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) and Assemb. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) aims to provide a tool to combat animal fighting rings. Prosecutions have led to the seizure of heroin and illegal guns, as well as evidence of domestic and child abuse and long-term torture of animals.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the bill into law Monday.
”Animal fighting fuels some of the most violent enterprises that corrupt our neighborhoods,” Boyle said. “Many people did not know that animal fighting was not eligible for a warrant to conduct electronic surveillance.”
Lavine said the animal abuse for profit depends on organized networks using telephones, the internet and clandestine meetings.
“The use of wiretaps and surveillance video is absolutely necessary to protect the public,” he said. “This legislation will help end this barbaric practice.”
Cuomo called the crimes particularly cruel. He said the law will provide a critical tool to “crack down on these rings, protect animals from harm and bring these criminals to justice.”