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June 26, 2014

New Jersey Legislature Moves to Improve Animal Cruelty Laws

The Humane Society of the United States urges Senate to quickly pass much needed legislation

The New Jersey State Assembly passed long overdue legislation that explicitly bans human sexual activity with animals. A. 3012, sponsored by Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, R-Somerset, defines, prohibits and sets penalties for the sexual abuse of animals. The legislation, approved unanimously, will now head to the Senate.

Kathleen Schatzmann, New Jersey state director for The HSUS said, “We thank Assemblyman Ciattarelli and the members of the Assembly for their unwavering effort to strengthen New Jersey's animal cruelty laws. Perpetrators of animal cruelty are a threat, not only to animals, but also to our communities, and we urge the Senate to swiftly move this bill.”

Assemblyman Ciattarelli said, “It’s time for New Jersey to be added to the list of the other 37 states that currently have a law against such a crime. New Jersey needs to move this bill forward and denounce this heinous form of animal cruelty.”

Thirty-seven states have passed laws prohibiting sexual abuse of animals and 21 states consider bestiality to be a felony-level offense, including Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi and South Carolina. 

Facts

  • Sexual abuse of animals is an indicator of other violent, sexually deviant crimes.
  • The FBI researched the backgrounds of serial sexual homicide perpetrators and found high rates of sexual assault of animals.
  • Another study revealed that up to 37 percent of sexually violent juvenile offenders had a history of animal sexual assault. 
  • A 2002 study found that 96 percent of juveniles who had engaged in sex with animals also admitted to sex offenses against people and reported more offenses against people than other sex offenders their same age and race. 
  • In an Australian study, 100 percent of people who committed sexual homicide had abused animals, and 61.5 percent of animal abusers had also assaulted a person.


For more information on animal cruelty, visit humanesociety.org/acf.


Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 240-672-8397; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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