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A significantly amended New Jersey Senate Bill 63 was approved late last week by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.  The bill could now be considered for a vote by the full Senate this Thursday, June 30. 

Although some important and necessary changes have been made, the AKC remains deeply concerned with SB 63.  It is imperative that all New Jersey fanciers, enthusiasts, breeders, and owners contact their state senator and Senate President Steve Sweeney and request SB 63 not be voted on Thursday; and further request the bill be amended to address the concerns as outlined below. 

BILL HISTORY:  When initially introduced, SB 63 sought to radically repeal New Jersey’s consumer protection law covering pet sales, the Pet Purchase Protection Act, and to limit pet stores to selling only dogs and cats sourced from shelters and rescues (though they did not require shelters and rescues to supply animals to those stores). 

These drastic ideas have since been amended. 

  1. The repeal of the consumer protection law has been removed from the bill, as was requested by the AKC, the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs, the National Animal Interest Alliance, and a multitude of other stakeholders. 
  2. A watered-down pet store sales limitation now “grandfathers” in pet stores that were licensed and selling cats and dogs on January 12, 2016.  Those stores may continue to sell cats and dogs appropriately sourced from breeders.  However, the proposal continues to prohibit other businesses from selling cats and dogs unless they are sourced from shelters and rescues. 

Click here to read the current version of SB 63

AKC’S CONTINUED OBJECTIONS TO SB 63:  As currently worded, several important issues remain that must be addressed if SB 63 is to become law. 

  • The definition of “pet dealer” remains overly broad and vague. This definition is important because those who are considered pet dealers are subject to significant licensing, operational, regulatory, and recordkeeping requirements.  We strongly encourage the definition of pet dealer to be amended for clarity to ensure that unintended parties are not included. 
  • The bill continues to contain more than two pages of “findings” that that assail the reputations of dog breeders with broadly-discredited conjecture, questionable statistics and out-of-date information from USDA. The use of such biased and discredited information undermines responsible owner-breeders and will likely serve as the unsubstantiated justification for additional radical legislation that will earn New Jersey the title of most unfriendly state to dog owners.  The AKC believes New Jersey can do better than using biased, discredited and misleading anti-breeder language in state statute—and continues to strongly urge its removal. 

TAKE ACTION NOW!  New Jersey fanciers, enthusiasts, breeders, and owners are strongly encouraged to contact Senate President Steve Sweeney and their state senator and request SB 63 not be voted until the bill’s language has been clarified and stakeholders have had ample opportunity to understand the implications of the amended bill and express concerns to their elected representatives. 

Email for Senate President Steve Sweeney – SenSweeney@njleg.org 

To find your New Jersey state senator, click here to access the New Jersey Legislature’s Find You Legislator page.   

AKC will continue to provide updates on SB 63 as developments warrant.  For more information on the status of and problems with SB 63, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or email doglaw@akc.org.  

A significantly amended New Jersey Senate Bill 63 was approved late last week by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The bill could now be considered for a vote by the full Senate this Thursday, June 30.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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