Gov. Cuomo: Law Enforcement Can Now Eavesdrop On Phones and Emails of Animal Fighting Suspects

July 24, 2017

ALBANY, NY – Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to include animal fighting as a designated offense for an eavesdropping or video surveillance warrant. “This is a particularly cruel and heinous crime, and we must use every tool at our disposal to stamp out these despicable acts once and for all,” Governor Cuomo said. “This legislation will give law enforcement new powers to crack down on these rings, protect animals from harm and bring these criminals to justice.”

The governor says that animal fighting often requires multiple individuals acting in concert, using telephones and web-based communications devices. Currently, the investigation of animal fighting activities does not qualify law enforcement to receive a warrant to conduct electronic surveillance.
This legislation (A2806/S611) authorizes the issuance of eavesdropping and video surveillance warrants for the investigation of animal fighting crimes to provide an important and useful tool to law enforcement intent on ending this horrific crime and to shutting down those who flaunt the State’s laws.

This legislation was voted for in the state senate by Senator Tom O’Mara, Senator Cathy Young and all other members of the state senate. In the state assembly, it was supported by all assembly members, including Palmesano, Errigo and Giglio. The only no-vote in the Assembly, was New York City Democrat Charles Barron.