BREACHES OF THE PEACE AND RELATED OFFENSES
644:8-a Exhibitions of Fighting Animals.
I. No person shall offer for sale, sell, loan, export, keep, breed, or train any bird, dog, or other animal, with the intent that it or its offspring shall be engaged or used in an exhibition of fighting, or shall establish or promote an exhibition of the fighting thereof. Whoever violates the provisions of this paragraph shall be guilty of a class B felony.
II. Any person present at any place or building when preparations are being made for an exhibition of such fighting with intent to be present at such exhibition, or present at, aiding in or contributing to, such an exhibition, shall be guilty of a class B felony.
III. (a) Any person who possesses, owns, buys, sells, transfers, or manufactures animal fighting paraphernalia with the intent to engage in or otherwise promote or facilitate such fighting shall be guilty of a class B felony.
(b) For purposes of this section, "
animal fighting paraphernalia
" means equipment, products, implements, and materials of any kind that are used, intended for use, or designed for use in the training, preparation, conditioning, or furtherance of animal fighting, and includes, but is not limited to, the following: breaking sticks, cat mills, fighting pits, springpoles, unprescribed anabolic steroids, unprescribed anti-inflammatory steroids, unprescribed antibiotics, treatment supplies or gaffs, slashers, heels, or any other sharp implement designed to be attached in place of the natural spur of a cock or game fowl.
(c) In determining whether an object is animal fighting paraphernalia, the court shall consider any prior convictions under federal or state law relating to animal fighting, the proximity of the object in time and space to the direct violation of this section, direct or circumstantial evidence of the intent of the accused to deliver the object to persons whom he or she knows or should reasonably know intend to use the object to facilitate a violation of this section, oral or written instructions provided with or in the vicinity of the object concerning its use, descriptive materials accompanying the object which explain or depict its use, and all other logically relevant factors.
IV. All animals so kept, bred, or trained by a person charged with violating the provisions of paragraph I may be seized by the arresting officer, pursuant to RSA 595-A:6 and RSA 644:8. Upon said person's conviction, said animals may, at the discretion of the court, be destroyed in a humane manner by a licensed veterinarian. The costs, if any, incurred in boarding the animals, pending disposition of the case, and in disposing of the animals, upon a conviction of said person for violating paragraph I, shall be borne by the person so convicted.
V. Upon conviction of a violation of this section, all animals used or to be used in training, fighting, or baiting, and all equipment, paraphernalia, and money involved in a violation of this section may be forfeited to the state at the discretion of the court, pursuant to RSA 595-A:6. Proceeds of any such forfeiture shall be used to reimburse local government and state agencies for the costs of prosecution of animal fighting cases. Proceeds which are not needed for such reimbursement shall be deposited in the companion animal neutering fund, established in RSA 437-A:4-a.
VI. In addition to other penalties prescribed by law, the court shall issue an order prohibiting or limiting a person who is convicted of a violation of this section from owning or possessing any animals for a period not less than 5 years, and may add other reasonable restrictions on future ownership or possession of animals as necessary for the protection of the animals. Any animal involved in a violation of a court order prohibiting or limiting ownership or possession of animals shall be subject to immediate forfeiture. Any person violating such order may, in addition to being held in criminal contempt of court or subject to a probation violation, be fined in the amount of $1,000 in any court of competent jurisdiction for each animal held in unlawful ownership or possession. For purposes of this section, a reasonable restriction on future ownership or possession may include limiting a person from engaging in any employment in the care of animals or other similar contact as the court sees fit.
Source. 1979, 30:1. 2003, 98:1. 2008, 326:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009. 2019, 295:1, 2, eff. Oct. 27, 2019.