SPONSOR:   

Rep. Miro & Sen. Peterson ;

 

Reps. Gilligan, Keeley, Kowalko, M. Marshall, D. Short, Oberle; Sen. Bonini

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

145th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

HOUSE BILL NO. 2

 

 

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SPECIFIC OFFENSES, ANIMALS, AND PENALTIES.

 


BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

 


Section 1.  Amend Title 11 of the Delaware Code by striking § 1326 in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

“§ 1326.  Animals; fighting and baiting prohibited; class E felony.

(a)           A person who owns, possesses, keeps, trains, or uses a bull, bear, dog, cock, or other animal or fowl for the purpose of fighting or baiting; or a person who is a party to or who causes the fighting or baiting of a bull, bear, dog, cock, or other animal or fowl; or a person who rents or otherwise obtains the use of a building, shed, room, yard, ground, or premises for the purpose of fighting or baiting an animal or fowl; or a person who knowingly suffers or permits the use of a building, shed, room, yard, ground, or premises belonging to the person, or that is under the person’s control, for any of the purposes described in this section, is guilty of a class E felony.

(b)           A person who is present at a building, shed, room, yard, ground, or premises where preparations are being made for an exhibition prohibited by subsection (a) of this section, and who knows that the exhibition is taking place or is about to take place, is guilty of a class F felony.

(c)           A person who gambles on the outcome of an exhibition prohibited by subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a class F felony.

(d)           All animals, equipment, devices, and money involved in a violation of this section must be forfeited to the State.  Animals so forfeited must be disposed of in a humane manner.

(e)           Prosecution for any offense under this section may not be commenced after five (5) years from the commission of the offense.

(f)            A person convicted of a violation of this section is prohibited from owning or possessing any animal or fowl for 15 years after conviction.

(g)           A fine issued as a result of a violation of this section may not be suspended.

(h)           In addition to the penalties provided under this section, the court may require a person convicted of violating this section to attend and participate in an appropriate treatment program or to obtain appropriate psychiatric or psychological counseling, or both.  The court may impose the costs of any treatment program or counseling upon the person convicted.”.



SYNOPSIS

This bill increases the penalties for animal fighting, baiting, and attendance from a class F felony to a class E felony, and increases the penalties for being present where an exhibition of fighting and/or baiting is being prepared and knowing that the exhibition is about to take place from a class G felony to a class F felony.

This bill also expands the penalty provisions to allow a court to order persons convicted under § 1326 to attend mandatory counseling and/or psychological treatment, and to pay the costs of treatment and/or counseling.