United States: More New Jersey Animal-Related Bills Introduced

Last Updated: June 14 2016
Article by Nancy E. Halpern, DVM, Esq.

Senator Linda Greenstein recently introduced 2 bills in New Jersey-S 2288 and S 2289.

S 2288 would establish the Pet Groomers Licensing Act also known as "Bijou's Law." This bill and its companion, A908, have been around since 2014.

S 2288 would require the New Jersey State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners to license "pet groomers" defined as "an individual who bathes, brushes, clips, or styles a pet for compensation" and to establish regulations governing pet grooming.

It is unlikely that the New Jersey State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is in a position to license pet groomers as required in this bill.

S 2289 would require breeders or other providers of dogs to pet shops to certify compliance with dog breeding and care regulations that the New Jersey Department of Health would be required to promulgate and would prohibit pet shop sale of dogs without such certification. The bill would also require inspections paid for, in part by the reallocation of dog license revenues.

The corresponding assembly version of this bill, A3645 has been previously discussed.

As a reminder, as described in the bill statement, S 2289 would:

require that, as a condition of the sale or transfer of a dog within or into the State, any breeder or owner or operator of a business providing dogs to pet shops submit a certification to the Department of Health (DOH) that it is in compliance with DOH regulations establishing proper breeding practices and standards of care for female dogs and puppies at any facility used for the breeding or housing of dogs. The bill directs the DOH to adopt regulations that:

  1. establish breeding practices and a standard of care for female dogs and puppies at a facility used for breeding or housing dogs;
  2. prohibit a female dog from being bred more than once every 365 days; and
  3. establish the procedures and requirements for the certification of compliance required to be submitted by breeders or owners or operators of a business providing dogs to pet shops in the State.

Furthermore, the bill prohibits a pet shop from selling or offering to sell any dog unless the pet shop has obtained from the breeder or the owner or operator of a business providing dogs to pet shops a copy of the certification submitted to the DOH. The bill also provides that, notwithstanding this prohibition, a pet shop may sell or offer for sale any dog obtained by the pet shop directly from a shelter, pound, or animal rescue organization. The DOH or the local health authority, if so authorized by the DOH, is required to inspect each pet shop within 30 days after it opens for business, and once every 90 days thereafter, to determine if the pet shop is in compliance with the requirements of the bill. The bill provides a revenue source for implementing the bill by reallocating one third of dog registration tag fees moneys collected by municipalities to the municipality for this purpose. Finally, the bill also establishes a penalty for violations of a fine for up to $1,000 and possible license revocation for the pet shop.

This bill would make it untenable for any pet store to continue to sell dogs.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Nancy E. Halpern, DVM, Esq.
 
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