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

  • Another misconceived unnecessary New Jersey bill introduced that would do nothing to protect people or animals Assembly bill No. 5236 was recently introduced in the state assembly that would establish “criminal offenses and civil penalties concerning [allegedly] inhumane confinement of breeding pigs and calves raised for veal.” This bill was introduced by a legislator in Hudson County, New Jersey, part of the New York City metropolitan area, where Jersey City is the county seat-a city I know well from my childhood since my grandparents and mother lived there for decades.  I can assure you that there are... More
  • USDA Supported Feral Swine Eradication Efforts in the United States Feral swine, an invasive species, have been a problem for years if not decades, and populations have been reported in at least 35 states with a total population “estimated at over 6 million,” as noted by USDA. At least one swine herd was reported in New Jersey while I was serving as the State Veterinarian, at the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, where we teamed up with the state Department of Environmental Protection and USDA Wildlife Services to eradicate the... More
  • California Veterinary Board to discuss lack of access to veterinary care in California The California Veterinary Medical Board (Board) will meet by teleconference at 9:00 a.m., on Thursday, January 28, 2021 to discuss, amongst other agenda items, a “Presentation and Discussion on Access to Veterinary Care in California” presented by representatives from San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SPCA) and Humane Society of the United States, Pets for Life (HSUS PFL). The presentation, available online, includes the results of a study conducted by New Banfield Pet Hospital®, titled “75... More
  • Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Round Two: Ronald S. Hines, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine This case, based on an investigation by the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (“TBVME”) into Dr. Hines’ digital provision of veterinary medicine, without the required initiation of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (“VCPR”) established by an in person examination, dates back to 2012.  The Board found that Dr. Hines had violated the Texas Veterinary Practice Act by providing “advice to dog, cat and exotic animal pet owners” for a fee, via Dr. Hines’ website or by email without establishing an... More
  • Another proposed bill in New Jersey that is unnecessary and will increase the cost of veterinary medicine for animal owners. A317, a bill that would require annual inspection of animal or veterinary facilities as defined in Section 1 pf P.L. 1983, c. 98, has been re-introduced in the State Assembly. Animal or veterinary facility, defined as incorporated, means “any fixed or mobile establishment, veterinary hospital, animal hospital or premises wherein or whereon the practice of veterinary medicine or any part thereof is conducted.” Such annual inspections would include traditional small animal clinics and hospitals; specialty animal hospitals; companion and large animal ambulatory... More
  • Emotional support animals are considered pets not service animals by US Department of Transportation. U.S. Department of Transportation (“the Department” or “DOT”) announced it final rule on “Traveling by Air with Service Animals” on December 2, 2020.  The rule will be effective 30 days after the date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. The purposes for the regulatory amendments were first described in the Department’s notice of proposed rulemaking published on February 5, 2020 and repeated in brief in final rule. This final rule is prompted by a number of compelling needs... More
  • Unintended Consequences that would result from adoption of the Big Cat Public Safety Act The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1380, a bill that would amend the existing amendments to the Lacey Act, titled “Captive Wildlife Safety Act”, to purportedly “further the conservation of certain wildlife species . . .” There are a number of admitted unknown consequences if this Act were to be adopted as law, as reported in the report from the Committee on Natural Resources: It is not known how many big cats, including tigers, lions, jaguars, leopards, cougars, and hybrids are currently... More
  • Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Circulates Globally While the world is still focused on SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic, US animal health officials and poultry producers have been monitoring and taking action to prevent the spread of another highly pathogenic virus-Avian Influenza-from entering the country.  As reported on the website of the Office of Epizooties (the World Organization for Animal Health) the following countries have recently reported outbreaks of strains (H5N5, H5N7, or H5N8) of Highly Pathogenic Influenza Virus causing disease and death in non-poultry... More
  • More on the Alleged Right to Liberty for Happy the Elephant On November 19, 2020, the First Judicial Department, Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Court heard oral argument, remotely, regarding the Nonhuman Rights Project’s (the “Project”) appeal of the dismissal of their habeas corpus petition filed to establish personhood status for Happy an elephant housed at the Bronx Zoo.  The purported purpose of the petition is to permit Happy transfer from the Bronx Zoo to an elephant sanctuary the Project believes will provide her with better housing.... More
  • Updated COVID-19 Health and Safety Requirements for Veterinarians in New Jersey On November 2, 2020, the Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in New Jersey issued DCA Administrative Order No. 2020-20, ordering, Veterinarians are authorized to provide the full scope of veterinary services, including all urgent, non-urgent and routine veterinary services, and including spays and neuters, in an office setting, and shall comply with, and ensure that their staff comply with, the following requirements to: (1) avoid person-to-person contact with animal owners/clients (hereinafter “clients”); (2) facilitate social distancing within the... More