Gov. Chris Christie signed a measure into law Monday that bans bestiality in the state of New Jersey, a change that takes effect immediately.

Breaking the law could warrant prison time of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. If the violator has a history of animal cruelty or if the animal involved dies as a result of the assault, then a tougher sentence of three to five years imprisonment, a fine of $15,000, or both is possible.

Previously, it was a crime to torture or neglect animals or commit other acts of animal cruelty, but the measure added language to include inappropriate sexual contact.

According to an AP report, a 2009 court case dropped animal cruelty charges against a police officer accused of sexually molesting cows because the prosecutors were unable to prove the animals were harmed.

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