The American Kennel Club has learned that New Jersey Senate Bill 3041 is scheduled for a vote by the full New Jersey Assembly at 10PM tonight, March 16, 2017. This measure defines as a “pet dealer” every person in New Jersey who breeds and sells/transfers more than 10 dogs and/or cats.
This will be the last time concerns with S.3041 or its companions A.2338/S.63 may be addressed to the full Assembly.
It is imperative that all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in New Jersey contact their Assembly member and Assembly Speaker Prieto and respectfully urge opposition to S.3041 until the concerns outlined below are addressed. Respectfully state that you are a constituent and you are asking them to please vote NO on S.3041.
The AKC and a coalition of animal interest groups have actively opposed bills identical to S.3041, A.2338/S.63, since their introductions in January 2016. In an effort quickly push this legislation, S. 3041 was recently introduced and quickly passed by the State Senate. Concerns with this legislation include:
- It is common for some breeds such as Labrador Retrievers and Great Danes to regularly have litters larger than 10 puppies. A person whose dog has a large litter just once and sells/finds new homes for the puppies will be defined as a “pet dealer”. The term “pet dealer” also includes pet shops, commercial kennels, and boarding kennels. It establishes protocols for enforcement by local counties and municipalities. Some of these standards include specific engineering requirements that are neither possible nor in the best interest of pets in residential settings.
- The arbitrary threshold and vague language could regulate many fanciers and enthusiasts. Because most municipalities do not allow commercial enterprises such as animal “dealers” in residential zones, hobby breeders may find themselves in violation of state and local zoning laws, and forced to choose between their home and their hobby.
- Throughout the bills’ consideration, the AKC has respectfully recommended better language to reflect the sponsors’ stated intent that small, hobby breeders would be exempt from the definition of “pet dealer”. Those concerns have not been considered.
- Over previous versions, the current version of A.2338 actually increases the number of allowable more health and welfare violations by pet dealers selling pets to pet stores.
- A.2338 continues to contain more than two pages of “findings” that assail the reputations of dog breeders with broadly-discredited conjecture, questionable statistics, and out-of-date USDA information.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
It is imperative that concerned New Jersey residents and its responsible breeders and owners call and email if possible contact their State Assembly member (and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto). Ask them to please vote NO on S.3041 on Thursday, March 16.
Go to http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp to find your New Jersey State Senator.
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto – (201) 770-1303 or AsmPrieto@njleg.org.