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  • NJ S3041
  • Revises "Pet Purchase Protection Act" to establish new requirements for pet dealers and pet shops.
Introduced
(2/27/2017)
In Committee
(3/6/2017)
Crossed Over
(3/13/2017)
Passed
(3/16/2017)
SignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill revises the "Pet Purchase Protection Act" to require pet dealers to comply with the same sourcing and reporting requirements for cats and dogs as are currently required for pet shops. Any violation of the bill's provisions is a violation of N.J.S.A.56:8-1 et seq. (the State consumer fraud law), punishable by a monetary penalty of up to $10,000 for a first offense and up to $20,000 for any subsequent offense. In addition, such violations can result in cease and desist orders issued by the Attorney General, the assessment of punitive damages, and the awarding of treble damages and costs to the injured party. The bill clarifies that a pet shop licensed in the State is a type of pet dealer. Under the bill, "pet dealer" is defined as, including a pet shop, any person, located within or outside of the State, who is engaged in the ordinary course of business in the sale of cats or dogs to consumers in the State for profit, or sells more than 10 cats or dogs in one year to consumers in the State. "Pet shop" is defined as a business licensed by a municipality in the State and, per the definition in chapter 19 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, as any place of business which is not part of a kennel, wherein animals, including, but not limited to, dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, rabbits, hamsters or gerbils, are kept or displayed chiefly for the purpose of sale to individuals for personal appreciation and companionship rather than for business or research purposes. Also, the revisions in the definition of "pet dealer" made by the bill result in some kennels being pet dealers under the bill. Currently, pet shops are required under the "Pet Purchase Protection Act" not to sell cats or dogs from certain breeders or brokers. The bill clarifies these requirements and imposes them on all pet dealers. The bill prohibits any pet dealer from selling or purchasing for resale any cat or dog bred, raised, transferred, or brokered by any person, including the pet dealer's own cats or dogs, if the person: 1) is not in compliance with Department of Health requirements concerning the maintenance and care of animals and the sanitary operation of kennels, pet shops, shelters, and pounds established in State regulations, unless the pet dealer bred or raised the animal, sells the animal directly to the consumer without the use of a broker or other intermediary, and is not required to be licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the date upon which the pet dealer obtains the animal or sells the animal, whichever date is earlier; 2) is not in possession of a current federal license issued by the USDA, unless the pet dealer bred or raised the animal, sells the animal directly to the consumer without the use of a broker or other intermediary, and is not required to be licensed by the USDA; 3) is not in possession of all other licenses required for a breeder or broker by the state in which the breeder or broker is located; 4) has been cited on one or more USDA inspection reports, issued during the three-year period prior to the date upon which the pet dealer obtains the animal or sells the animal, whichever date is earlier, for a total of three or more noncompliant items on the inspection reports pursuant to the federal "Animal Welfare Act" or its corresponding federal animal welfare regulations; 5) directly or indirectly obtained the cat or dog from a breeder, broker, or other person, firm, corporation, or organization cited for these violations or is not in compliance with the other requirements listed in above; or 6) is required to be licensed by the USDA and is not in compliance with section 10 of the bill. Section 10 of the bill prohibits any breeder or broker who is required to be licensed by the USDA from selling or transferring any animal to a pet dealer, or any pet dealer from selling or purchasing for resale any animal obtained from a breeder or broker required to be licensed by the USDA, unless the USDA inspection reports for the breeder or broker are available to the public on the USDA website except, if the USDA website does not allow for public access to those reports, then the breeder or broker is required to submit the reports to the Division of Consumer Affairs for posting on its website for public access. Current law also requires every pet shop to submit to the municipality in which it is located and licensed, annually and no later than May 1 of each year, a report of the information required by the "Pet Purchase Protection Act" concerning the cats and dogs it sells. The bill maintains this requirement for pet shops and requires all pet dealers, including pet shops, to report this information to the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety. The bill also requires all pet dealers to: maintain the records on all cats and dogs sold for at least three years from the date of the birth or acquisition of the cat or dog, as applicable; and provide the Division of Consumer Affairs, the Department of Health, or the local health authority access to these records upon request. The information required to be recorded and reported annually includes: 1) The date and place of birth of each cat or dog, and the actual age, or approximate age as established by a veterinarian, of the cat or dog; 2) The sex, color markings, and other identifying information of the cat or dog, including any tag, tattoo, collar number, or microchip information; 3) The name and address of the veterinarian attending to the cat or dog while the cat or dog is in the custody of the pet dealer, breeder, or broker, and the date of the initial examination of the cat or dog; 4) The first and last name of the breeder of the cat or dog, the full street address of where the breeder is doing business, an email address, if available, by which to contact the breeder, the breeder's USDA license number, and, if the breeder is required to be licensed in the state in which the breeder is located, the breeder's state license number; 5) If the broker is different from the breeder, the first and last name of the broker of the cat or dog, the full street address of where the broker is doing business, an email address, if available, by which to contact the broker, the USDA license number of the broker, and, if the broker is required to be licensed in the state in which the broker is located, the broker's state license number; 6) The USDA inspection reports for the breeder and the broker of the cat or dog for the two years prior to the first day that the cat or dog is offered for sale by the pet dealer; 7) Identification of each cat or dog bred and raised by the pet dealer with the pet dealer's name and address; and 8) The total number of cats and dogs sold to consumers in the State for each breeder, broker, and the pet dealer. Furthermore, the bill establishes the following penalties for any pet dealer found liable for a third violation of the sourcing or reporting requirements established under the bill and the "Pet Purchase Protection Act": 1) The pet dealer would be permanently prohibited from selling cats or dogs to consumers in the State; and 2) If the pet dealer has a license to sell cats or dogs in the State, that license would also be subject to revocation. The bill requires pet shops to post the USDA inspection reports for the breeder and the broker for each cat or dog for the three years prior to the cat or dog first being offered for sale at the pet shop, and provides that failure to post the required information, post it in the right place, or deny it to someone who requests it is a violation of the State consumer fraud law. The bill also requires pet dealers to maintain the same identifying and breeder and broker information and provide the same access to records as the pet shops, but they are not required to post information. In addition, the bill makes changes to State law concerning animal rescue organizations and their facilities. The Department of Health currently maintains a voluntary registry of animal rescue organizations and their facilities. The bill requires animal rescue organizations to be registered with the Department of Health, and their facilities to be licensed by the municipality in which they are located for a license fee of $5. The bill provides for permanent revocation of animal rescue organization facility licenses and permanent prohibition against operating in the State for an animal rescue organization or animal rescue organization facility that is found liable for a third violation of "Pet Purchase Protection Act" provisions pertaining to animal rescue organizations or animal rescue organization facilities. The bill also prohibits animal rescue organizations, shelters, and pounds from obtaining cats or dogs from breeders or brokers for payment or compensation. The bill revises P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1 et seq.) to: 1) provide for kennel, pet shop, shelter, or pound licenses to expire one year from the date they are issued; 2) stipulate that the renewal of licenses for those establishments is at the discretion of the municipality in which it is located; and 3) extend similar licensing requirements to previously unlicensed animal rescue organization facilities. There are certain exemptions provided under the bill. The bill exempts from the provisions of the "Pet Purchase Protection Act" any guide dog, service dog, search or rescue dog, or dog owned or used by a law enforcement agency or used for law enforcement activities. Also, except for prohibitions under current law and the bill concerning animal rescue, shelter, and pound animals and roadside transactions and displays, the bill exempts from the provisions of the "Pet Purchase Protection Act" sales, transfers, exchanges, and barters of cats or dogs for conducting biomedical research by USDA research facilities or facilities in compliance with the federal policy for humane care and use of laboratory animals specified in the bill. With regard to roadside transactions and displays, the bill prohibits a person from selling, exchanging, trading, bartering, leasing, or displaying for commercial purposes a cat or dog on any roadside, public right-of-way, parkway, median, park, other recreation area, flea market or other outdoor market, or commercial or retail parking lot regardless of whether such access is authorized. The bill exempts from this prohibition: the transfer of a cat or dog by or to a shelter, pound, or animal rescue organization; or the display of a cat or dog as part of a state or county fair exhibition, 4-H program, or similar exhibition or educational program. In addition to penalties for violations of the State consumer fraud law, the bill clarifies imposition of other penalties. It applies the established fine of $500 for certain violations of the "Pet Purchase Protection Act" to any animal rescue organization that obtains a cat or dog from a breeder or broker for payment or compensation. It also clarifies that the fine is to be imposed for any of the applicable violations of the "Pet Purchase Protection Act" in addition to other penalties that may be imposed pursuant to the State consumer fraud law, State animal control, dog licensing, and kennel, pet shop, shelter, and pound laws (N.J.S.A.4:19-15.1 et seq.), or the State criminal code (Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes). Current law provides for the fine to be collected by the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety in a civil action by a summary proceeding under the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999." Finally, the bill authorizes the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, with the cooperation and assistance of the Department of Health, to adopt regulations necessary for implementation and enforcement. The bill authorizes the Division of Consumer Affairs, the Department of Health, and local health authorities to enforce the provisions of the bill.
2nd Reading in the Senate, Economic Growth, Passed both Houses, Passed Senate, Received by the Senate
Conditional Veto, Received in the Senate  (on 5/1/2017)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
5/1/2017 S Conditional Veto, Received in the Senate
3/16/2017 A Passed Assembly (Passed Both Houses) (52-16-3)
3/16/2017 A Substituted for A2338 (ACS/2R)
3/16/2017 A Received in the Assembly without Reference, 2nd Reading
3/13/2017 S Passed by the Senate (21-12)
3/6/2017 S Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading
3/6/2017 Senate Economic Growth Hearing (19:00 3/6/2017 S-3074-Lesniak (pending intro & referral) Establishes gubernator)
2/27/2017 S Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Economic Growth Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 3/16/2017 Assembly Floor: Substitute For A2338 Acs (Voice Vote) 0 0 0
Detail 3/16/2017 Assembly Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 52 16 12
Detail 3/13/2017 Senate Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 21 12 7
Detail 3/6/2017 Senate Economic Growth Committee: Reported Favorably 3 2 0