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

  • New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research’s 23rd Annual IACUC Conference I had the opportunity to present an “Animal Law Update” on October 21, 2016 at the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research’s 23rd Annual IACUC Conference – the region’s premier training conference for professionals in laboratory animal research field.  Among this year’s 110 participants were key institution decision makers, Animal Care and Use Committee members, lab animal veterinarians, animal welfare compliance specialists and other lab animal research team members from the pharmaceutical industry, contract research organizations, academic research institutions, and... More
  • The Animal Welfare Act at Fifty The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) has been disemboweled by local jurisdictions around the country that have banned sales to pet shops from USDA licensees and those specifically exempted from licensure, which shops rely upon to provide healthy puppies to people choosing to purchase a specially-bred puppy with specific physical and behavioral traits best suited to that pet owner’s particular needs. Beginning around 2008, animal rights organizations began persuading lawmakers to implement decades-long campaigns to eliminate commercial dog breeding by banning sales... More
  • Support curiousSCIENCEwriters This is the time of year that nonprofit organizations hope for contributions from those who have the means and interest to support these organizations. This year, I encourage you to consider supporting curiousSCIENCEwriters. curiousSCIENCEwriters (cSw) is an innovative, independent steAm initiative that trains creative high school communicators to bring complex science to the general public through the power of story. Science and technology are advancing exponentially, yet fewer than 7% of American adults are scientifically literate. With growing medical, environmental and social issues... More
  • The Assembly Version of S63 to be Heard Monday, Nov. 14, 2016 On Monday, November 14, 2016, the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee will consider the Assembly version (A2338) of Senator Lesniak’s amendments to the Pet Purchase Protection Act (S63).  The problems with these amendments were previously discussed here. Anyone interested in testifying should attend the Committee meeting at 2:00 PM Committee Room 9, 3rd Floor, State House Annex, Trenton, NJ.... More
  • NJ bill affecting veterinarians, cats, and their owners to be heard on Monday, November 14, 2016 A bill (A3899) prohibiting veterinary declawing procedures in New Jersey will be considered by the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Monday, November 14, 2016. This bill would create civil and criminal liabilities for any person who shall: Perform, or cause to be performed, an onychectomy (declawing) or flexor tendonectomy procedure on a cat or other animal in violation of section 1 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill). As summarized in the bill statement: This bill... More
  • New Jersey Court Upholds NJDEP’s Regulation Permitting the Use of a Foothold Trap NJDEP adopted a regulation in 2015 that “permits use of enclosed foothold traps to capture small fur-bearing animals, such as raccoons and opossums.”  N.J.A.C. 7:25-5.12 (g). As set forth in the 2015-16 New Jersey Game Code, the use of the enclosed foothold traps is expressly permitted while the use of steel-jaw leghold traps is prohibited: (g) Enclosed foothold traps may be used to harvest furbearing animals during the prescribed  open seasons and shall be subject to the following requirements:  1. All triggering and restraining... More
  • Cage Free May Not Improve Hen Welfare As recently reported by Stephanie Strom in the NY Times (Business Section, Oct. 21, 2016), hens housed in aviaries have been observed to suffer higher morbidity and mortality rates, compared to hens housed in cages.  As egg farmers, veterinarians  and scientists previously warned, concerns about the welfare of hens housed in aviaries results from the well-known cannibalistic behavior of hens.  That behavior historically lead to the husbandry practice known as beak trimming, a practice activists consider a “mutilation.” As discussed previously, the husbandry... More
  • Proposed expansion of animal cruelty offenses in New Jersey to include “endangerment of a domestic companion animal.” New Jersey Assemblyman Troy Singleton, sponsor of “Moose’s Law,” an animal abuse registry law which I have discussed several times, has proposed another animal cruelty-related bill.  This time, in Assembly Bill No. 4313, Singleton proposes to add to the list of possible civil animal cruelty offenses conduct that “[p]uts a domestic companion animal in danger of injury or imminent harm.” Notably, the amendment is not based on actual injury or imminent harm, but conduct that “puts a domestic animal” in such... More
  • Novel copyright infringement lawsuit against documentary filmmaker by Vancouver Aquarium. The Vancouver Aquarium filed suit against documentary filmmakers for alleged copyright infringement and breach of contract regarding at least some portions of a video entitled Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered, which purportedly exposes “the truth about whales and dolphins in captivity” at the Aquarium. In “Oral Reasons for Judgment” the Honorable Madam Justice Watchuk described the factual background of the case, in relevant part, as follows: The Aquarium’s civil complaint alleged that the video contains some of the plaintiff’s copyrighted works, including from... More
  • United Poultry Concerns Tries to Stop Kaporos (Again)   For at least the third year in a row, United Poultry Concerns (UPC) the animal rights nonprofit “promoting the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl,” filed a lawsuit to ban the religious practice called Kaporos, where a chicken is used in a religious ritual and then slaughtered during the high holy days. UPC’s lawsuit was brought in California as a “private attorney general action under California Business and Professions Code § 17200 (the ‘Unfair Competition Law’or ‘UCL’). Plaintiff seeks an... More