Legal Lola Update I: NJ Bill A3306

LegalLola02Today we’re reporting on recent activity regarding NJ BIll A3306. When we wrote our Sept 16, 2014 post about this bill, it was sitting in the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. On Sept 22, 2014 the bill reported out of Assembly Committee with Amendments (Votes: Yes – 4, Abstains – 1) and was given the 2nd Reading. This is progress, but this bill still must go thru quite a few more steps in the NJ legislative process before it can become a law.

The Ammendments

Clarification Of Definitions

  • “Animal” means cat or dog.
  • “Breeder” means any person, firm, corporation or organization in the business of breeding cats or dogs.
  • “Broker” means any person, firm, corporation or organization who sells a cat or dog to a pet shop, whether or not the broker is also the breeder of the cat or dog.
  • “USDA License Number” means the license number issued to a breeder or broker by the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to the federal “Animal Welfare Act.”

Additional Requirements

  • Pet stores must post the USDA inspection reports for the breeder and the broker of each animal for the prior two years with the statement: “View the USDA inspection reports for the breeder for this animal and any broker that sold this animal to this pet shop by contacting the USDA through the Internet.  You are also entitled to receive information about the breeder’s or broker’s history through the federal Freedom of Information Act. Charges may apply.”
  • The owner or operator of the pet shop is required to keep this information up-to-date, ensure that the appropriate website and contact telephone number are functioning, post the current website and telephone number, and make changes to the signage as necessary so that the consumer has access to the correct information at all times.
  • Any pet shop cannot sell, offer for sale, or purchase for resale an animal from a breeder or broker who:
    • Is not in compliance with the State requirements.
    • Is not in possession of a current license issued by the USDA or by any applicable state agency.
    • Has been cited on a USDA inspection report for a direct violation or three of more indirect violations of the federal “Animal Welfare Act,” during the two-year period prior to the purchase of the animal by the pet shop.
    • Is cited on the two most recent USDA inspection reports prior to the purchase of the animal by the pet shop for no-access violations pursuant to enforcement of that federal law.
  • Pet stores can buy, sell, or offer for adoption animals from, or transfer animals to or from, publicly operated animal control facilities, animal rescue organizations, pounds, or shelters whose primary mission and practice is the placement of abandoned, unwanted, neglected or abused animals and that are also federal tax exempt organizations.
  • Each pet shop must annually report for each animal the name, address, telephone number, and USDA license number of the breeder and/or any broker from whom the pet shop purchased an animal that was offered for sale by the pet shop.
  • Each pet shop must annually report the total number of animals purchased from each breeder and broker.
  • Additional local restrictions on pet shops or pet sales are not prevented from being imposed and enforced locally.

The complete text of NJ A3306, with September 22, 2014 revisions, is available on line.

What You Can Do

Continue to let the NJ legislators know how you feel about this bill. Encourage them to get it to the 3rd Reading and vote in the NJ Assembly. (You can also thank them for the work they’ve done so far.)

You can find links to each of the members of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee here.

A listing of all your NJ representatives (NJ Senate and NJ General Assembly) can be found here.

Please share this post with others who might be interested. We will continue to follow this bill closely and will provide timely updates. If you’d like to receive notifications about this and other topics, please subscribe to our blog by entering your email address in the “Subscribe To Our Blog!” box along the right side of this page.

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. – George Bernard Shaw


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