Blog – Animal Law Update

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Join our team of seasoned attorneys as they offer valuable insight to proposed regulatory and statutory amendments that may impact your animal-related businesses or activities.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Will Captive Japanese Macaques Be Re-designated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as Threatened? Japanese macaques, along with 11 other primate species were first listed as threatened on October 19, 1976 by FWS.[1]  However, by special rule, 50 C.F.R. §17.40(c)(2) captive members of these species were exempted from protections under the Endangered Species Act by FWS.  Now, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has petitioned FWS to correct what they describe as the unlawful deprivation of protection under the ESA.  See Petition to Include the Captive Members of the Species of Primates... More
  • Is it time to get pet insurance? As recently reported by healthypaws® Pet Insurance & Foundation in Cost of Pet Care: 2016, “[v]eterinarians have a greater ability to treat and save sick animals now more than ever before.” The AVMA offers guidance to both pet owners and veterinarians “recogniz[ing] that viable pet health insurance programs will be important to the future of the veterinary profession’s ability to continue to provide high quality and up-to-date veterinary service.”  The AVMA, while not endorsing any specific pet insurer, includes a list... More
  • Other concerns about NJ Bill S3019 I previously described concerns about S3019’s impact to veterinarians. There are additional concerns about the impact of this bill to animal shelters and NJ taxpayers.  And, it is inexplicable why S3019 exempts animal rescue organizations from provisions governing shelters since these unregulated organizations are becoming the primary way people are obtaining pets—through retail rescue channels.  See The Phenomenon called “Retail Rescue.” Animal shelters are under increasing pressure from the no-kill movement to decrease or eliminate the number of animals they euthanize.  This... More
  • NJ bill S3019 could decrease the number of veterinary facilities willing to assist municipalities in animal control. Senator Linda R. Greenstein introduced S3019 on Feb. 27, 2017, a bill that would establish “additional requirements for operation and oversight of animal shelters, pounds, kennels operating as shelters or pounds, and veterinary holding facilities.” The bill creates liabilities for veterinarians who provide certain critical services to municipalities.  If enacted, it is unclear why veterinarians would expose themselves to such liability.  Therefore, critical services currently provided by these veterinarians to communities could place both people and animals at unnecessary risk. The following... More
  • The Benefits and Pitfalls of DNA Tests Genetic testing in human and animal medicine has been used for some time, and shows great promise, when used judiciously.  For example, genotyping the avian influenza virus and other pathogens has helped animal and human health officials understand the spread of pathogens so that measures can be implemented to prevent or mitigate such spread. As reported by Greg Cima, “[f]aster, cheaper genome sequencing is helping public health researchers identify the risks of drug resistance and medical treatment failure . . .... More
  • New Jersey Livestock owners concerned about the humane care of their animals   At the request of New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA), New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), and New Jersey Farm Bureau, State legislators adopted a law in 1996 “which directs the Department of Agriculture—in consultation with the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station—to adopt ‘standards for the humane raising, keeping, care, treatment, marketing, and sale of domestic livestock,’ as well as ‘rules and regulations governing the enforcement of those standards.’”  35 NJR 1873(a) 2003.  At the time, livestock owners were increasingly... More
  • Update from USDA on the deactivation of its Animal Care Search Tool After a whirlwind of comments and criticisms, USDA has updated its statement regarding the abrupt deactivation of its Animal Care Search Tool, available here https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAAPHIS/bulletins/185b051. Similar to statements published on interested parties’ websites, USDA confirmed that this decision was based on internal discussions and review that predated the new administration. In 2016, well before the change of Administration, APHIS decided to make adjustments to the posting of regulatory records. USDA noted that the deactivation resulted not only based on guidance from the Department of Justice (see... More
  • Announcement from USDA-Deactivation of the Animal Care Search Tool In a stunning turn of events, USDA has deactivated it’s Animal Care Search Tool, as indicated on its website: Animal Care Search Tool-DEACTIVATED. USDA inspection reports of licensees pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act, among other data, were previously available on this search engine. The following alert is provided when clicking on the link (now deactivated): Alert Courts are continuously issuing decisions that provide agencies with guidance on interpreting and applying laws applicable to the release of information to the public by the Federal government,... More
  • Remaining concerns about the revisions to New Jersey’s Moose’s Law Moose’s Law, currently A308, prohibits persons convicted of criminal animal cruelty offenses from owning domestic companion animals and from working or volunteering at animal related enterprises, continues to suffer flaws that must be corrected to avoid constitutional violations and unintended consequences. The amendments to this bill attempt to limit its provisions to conduct constituting criminal violations of New Jersey’s animal cruelty statutes, but actually fails to do so. While new section 2 applies only to individuals who is convicted of an animal... More
  • The problem with the definition of “necessary care” in New Jersey bill A2052. Assembly bill No. 2052 includes the following definition of “necessary care: in the definition section of New Jersey’s animal cruelty statute that could be problematic for farmers raising livestock and poultry in the state, if it were to apply to them: “Necessary care” means care sufficient to preserve the health and well-being of an animal, and except for emergencies or circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the person responsible for the care of the animal, providing the following: (1) food of sufficient... More