Urgent – NJ Legislative Alert – Comments Via Email Needed By April 1, 2016
The Pet Shop Disclosure Law – S1870
The Pet Purchase Protection Act (Puppy Lemon Law) was amended last year to require that pet stores provide consumers with (1) specific breeder information on cage cards and (2) that they conspicuously post USDA inspection reports of breeders that supply puppies to their store. The intent of this law was to prevent pet stores from hiding breeder information and to make breeder and broker info easily accessible to potential puppy buyers.
Unfortunately, the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs has proposed regulations that severely weaken the law by doing away with conspicuous posting.
S1870, when passed, specifically required that cage cards with all of the information mandated be placed on each cage and enclosure for each animal offered for sale. The proposed regulations now say that: Cage cards don’t have to be placed on the cage but that a number can be assigned to each cage card which will correspond to a sheet of paper containing information on the dog at an information station in the store. S1870 also was very clear that USDA inspection reports had to be posted on or near the cages. The proposed regulations now say that, if constrained for space, they don’t have to be posted but consumers may ask for them.
This is blatant rewriting of a law that was passed by our legislature and signed by our governor – it is not “clarifying” the law.
- Cage cards will no longer be required; and
- Consumers will have to “ask for” USDA breeder inspection reports rather than having them posted in the store in plain view.
NJ Consumers Need To Take Action Now
- EMAIL the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs by April 1 at DCAProposal@dca.lps.state.nj.us to tell them that:
“The proposed regulations change the intent of the law and cannot be adopted as written. Cage cards must be on the cage and USDA inspection reports must be posted in the store in plain view. Consumers should not have to ask for this information.”
- REFERENCE “N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.1, 12.2 and 12.3 (Sale of Animals)” in the email subject line.
NOTE: Comments are not being accepted at this time by electronic submission. They MUST be emailed to the Division of Consumer Affairs per the Notice on their website.
The full text of the Rule Proposal (including existing and proposed verbiage) can be found HERE.
Many thanks to Janice Patterson Fisher, Puppy Mill Awareness Campaign Coordinator, Friends of Animals United NJ/NY (FAUN-NJ), for her tireless work on this issue and to Libby Williams, Pet Watch New Jersey, for alerting us about these important pending “revisions.”