Horses

Both Houses Approve Bill To Remove Law Enforcement Powers of NJSPCA

ea83e8dab2b9e4fa1dc6_njspca_car.JPG
Proposed legislation would revoke the law enforcement powers of the NJSPCA. Credits: File photo
ea83e8dab2b9e4fa1dc6_njspca_car.JPG

A bill that would remove the law enforcement powers of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NJSPCA) was approved by both the State Senate and Assembly on Jan. 8.

Bill S3558, sponsored by Senator Ray Lesniak, Democrat from Union County, calls for the creation of a county prosecutor animal cruelty task force in each county, and for a municipal humane law enforcement officer to be appointed in each municipality.

The NJSPCA was severely criticized in a report that was release by the State Commission of Investigation (SCI) released in October. “One of New Jersey’s leading humane organizations remains incapable of adequately fulfilling its core mission – enforcing the State’s animal cruelty laws – amid persistent operational waste and abuse and a host of other internal problems, the State Commission of Investigation revealed, according to a press release. The SCI also gave the organization poor marks in another report 17 years earlier. The SCI recommended both time that the NJSPCA be stripped of its law enforcement powers. Read the report at http://www.nj.gov/sci/pdf/SPCA-FollowUpReport.pdf

Sign Up for E-News

According to the bill’s statement, Lesniak’s bill would require “the county prosecutor of each county to establish, within the office of the prosecutor, a county prosecutor animal cruelty task force which is to be responsible for animal welfare within the jurisdiction of the county, and enforce and abide by the animal cruelty laws of the State. The county prosecutor is required to assign or appoint an animal cruelty prosecutor, and is permitted to assign or appoint any assistant prosecutor to the task force to investigate, prosecute, and take other legal action as appropriate for violations of the animal cruelty laws of the State. The county prosecutor is also required to assign or appoint a county law enforcement officer to serve as the chief humane law enforcement officer in the county, and is permitted to assign or appoint any other law enforcement officer under the supervision of the chief humane law enforcement officer, who is to assist with investigations, arrest violators, and otherwise act as an officer for detection, apprehension, and arrest of offenders against the animal welfare and animal cruelty laws of the State.”

The bill would also require the governing body of each municipality to appoint at least one municipal humane law enforcement officer. An animal control officer or police officer may be appointed to serve concurrently as a municipal humane law enforcement officer, and a municipal humane law enforcement officer may be appointed concurrently by more than one municipality, so long as the officer would be able to effectively carry out the duties and responsibilities required of each position held.

Under current law, the NJSPCA grants charters to county or local SPCAs. The local SPCAs or municipalities may hire their own cruelty investigators. If there is no local cruelty investigator then the state group may enforce the laws in the locale. If farm animals such as horses, cattle and small livestock such as poultry or rabbits are involved, the state Department of Agriculture is to be notified to do the investigation. The Department has never had the powers to file criminal charges. In the past, the Department has recommended that charges be filed and the local or NJSPCA has filed the paperwork.

Lesniak’s bill, does not specifically address how agricultural animal cruelty investigations would be handled.

New Jersey Department of Agriculture spokesman Jeff Wolfe previously said the NJDA will assist in all efforts to address issues cited in the SCI report as it pertains to farm animals.

Lesniak’s bill garnered support from several animal welfare groups but was opposed by the NJSPCA.

The vote in the Senate was 29 in favor, none against with 11 not voting. The Assembly voted 63-0 in favor with four not voting.

Once the bill is signed into law some parts will go into effect immediately, others will be implemented in four or seven months. There are also other time periods in which municipalities have to comply.

The Office of Legislative Services (OLS) estimates that counties and municipalities may see an undetermined increase in costs from assuming responsibility for enforcement of animal cruelty and welfare laws. However, the municipalities may also see an increase in revenue from fines as a result. 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Holmdel & Colts Neck

Colts Neck Senior Citizens Organization: Welcoming New Members for Great Experiences

July 10, 2018

COLTS NECK, NJ -  Tuesday, June 12  was a beautiful day for the members of Colts Neck Senior Citizens. The weather was perfect and a wonderful outing was enjoyed by all.  We boarded the bus for a delightful ride to Long Beach Island, where the Surflight Theatre was the first stop.  The performance of “Nice Work If You Can Get It” was definitely “nice ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_885fe7d6798f561c2b8e_img_5565

Thu, July 19, 5:00 PM

Frutta Bowls, Colts Neck

Enjoy a 'Click and Sip' With Free Headshots and ...

Carousel_image_e55354d1a6836067f4ce_aec2becdafab4e29dc6d_dbce792f-604d-4c51-8f4a-562bae613bad

Thu, July 19, 6:00 PM

Bella Vista Country Club, Marlboro

Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce to Host ...

Carousel_image_b613c4bdf66955f543ae_wfc_-_nj_singer_-_20180720_v2__1_

Fri, July 20, 8:00 AM

Vibe Tap and Grill, Hazlet

Breakfast Fundraiser

Business & Finance Government

Wed, July 25, 6:45 PM

Holmdel Public Library, Bell Works, Holmdel

If Only I Won the Lottery!

Murphy Administration Takes Action to Help Smokers Quit

July 19, 2018

Eliminates Prior Approval for Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Medications; Counseling Options to be Expanded

July 16, 2018

(TRENTON) – The Murphy administration on Monday announced new steps to help New Jersey Medicaid recipients quit using tobacco by making it easier to receive tobacco cessation medications and counseling.

“Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death ...

Colts Neck Senior Citizens at Atlantic City

Colts Neck Senior Citizens at Atlantic City

There were so many members of the Colts Neck Senior Citizens that signed up for the recent trip to Atlantic City that a larger bus had to be ordered.  The group felt like July 10 was a lucky day, even if there wasn’t a big win at the casino! We enjoyed a comfortable bus ride to the Tropicana, where we received a $15.00 gambling card, a ...

“Plant a Row” Garden Grows Fresh Produce for Monmouth County Food Pantries

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders recently visited and toured the Monmouth County Plant a Row for the Hungry Garden, which has donated 29,000 pounds of fresh produce to local food pantries since 2006.

 

Monmouth County’s Plant a Row (PAR) garden was created by the Master Gardeners of Monmouth County and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension in 2006 ...

TV's Cupcake Wars Champ Sweetens Holmdel at Bell Works Fireworks Extravaganza

July 18, 2018

HOLMDEL, NJ - On July 10th, attendees of the “Red, White and Boom” fireworks spectacular at Holmdel’s Bell Works complex were treated to the equally colorful (and far more delicious) cupcakes from the House of Cupcakes, a crowned champion of the Food Network.

 

The House of Cupcakes’ food truck offered its customers cupcakes in twelve flavors, ranging from ...

Obituaries

Feb 5, 1925 - Jul 4, 2018
Mary Ann Walsh Thompson, 93 of Holmdel, died Wednesday July 4th at Care One at Holmdel. Mary Ann ...
Read more

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...