Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New Jersey Senate passes bill to crack down on puppy mills

A bill to help crack down on puppy mills and protect consumers who buy puppies from commercial breeders in pet stores has passed the New Jersey Senate. S. 1870 will require pet shops in the state to provide consumers with certain identifying information regarding the animals they sell.

Kathleen Schatzmann, the New Jersey state director for the Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement:

“Most puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills and the sources of these dogs are often not disclosed to consumers. New Jersey consumers have repeatedly complained to the HSUS and consumer organizations about puppies purchased from pet stores who appeared healthy at first, only to show severe signs of illness within hours or days of purchase. This legislation is a step in the right direction and will help protect consumers from purchasing a sick animal.”

Sponsor of the bill, Sen. James W. Holzapfel, R-10, issued the following statement:

“This bill will increase transparency for consumers in the fight against puppy mills. In addition, some of the worst puppy mills in the country will no longer be able to sell to New Jersey pet stores.”

Under the bill (S1870), when selling a cat or dog, pet stores must post on its cage or enclosure the breeder’s name, address, phone number and United States Department of Agriculture license number. The information would be required in internet and print advertisements as well. The label would also include instructions of how to view the breeder’s Department of Agriculture inspection report on the federal department’s website.

The bill was also amended to ban stores from selling from out-of-state breeders whose standards are not up to New Jersey's code. The same would go for breeders that have been cited for one severe, or direct, violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act, or three less severe, or indirect, violations.

Pet shops that fail to include the information would be fined $500 for each violation.

Sources: and
Image via Wikimedia Commons

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