Horses

Senate Bill Would End NJSPCA's Powers To Enforce Animal Cruelty Laws

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) will be up for a vote on Dec. 14 before the state Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Bill S3558, sponsored by Senator Ray Lesniak, Democrat from Union County, would call 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.

A 1995 law set standards for humane care of livestock (statute P.L.1995, c.311). “From the perspective of New Jersey agriculture, it is paramount that New Jersey law enforcement agencies understand and respect the 1995 law that resulted in Humane Standards that guide livestock practices,” said New Jersey Department of Agriculture spokesman Jeff Wolfe.

The NJDA is concerned that if livestock with contagious disease is seized and then moved because of a cruelty investigation, that disease could be spread to other animals or humans. “It is critical to practice biosecurity measures on the farm to avoid introducing the disease to the outside community. N.J. Certified Livestock Inspectors, housed within the NJDA Division of Animal Health, are experts at distinguishing these diseases and employing biosecurity measures,” Wolfe said.

“The NJSPCA’s direction to consult with certified livestock inspectors is crucial. The NJDA will assist in all efforts to address issues cited in the SCI report. We encourage cooperation with the NJSPCA concerning livestock humane standard issues,” Wolfe said.

Dr. Nancy Halpern, a licensed veterinarian and a practicing attorney, who previously served as the State Veterinarian said “Since the NJSPCA, and possibly county SPCA’s, have historically ignored the notification requirement, which appear to have continued since I left the NJDA in 2011, Senator Lesniak’s proposed amendments should be welcome to the agricultural community in New Jersey. That said, there will continue to be work that is necessary to make sure that anyone enforcing animal cruelty statutes in New Jersey partners with NJDA to ensure that cases involving agricultural animals are properly investigated. That should include the education that law enforcement receives about such investigations. NJDA has historically been involved with that training, which I hope will continue, despite the fact that Lesniak’s bill does not mention NJDA.”

In New York City the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals handled cruelty investigations until a few years ago. The city police now handle animal cruelty cases in cooperation with the ASPCA. The NYPD and ASPCA citywide partnership was launched in 2014. Under the arrangement, the police respond to complaints and the ASPCA takes care of any animals seized. Since its launch, there have been triple digit increases in arrests and animals treated, according to the ASPCA.

There is no affiliation between the NJSPCA, local SPCAs and the ASPCA.

Lesniak’s bill has gained support from several animal welfare groups but is opposed by the NJSPCA.

See more Equestrian news at www.TAPintoHorses.net

Find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TAPintoHorses/

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montville

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c2ff3f5747a5b1176e1d_mini_magick20180711-124001-1ijymg2

Sun, July 15, 9:00 AM

Pequannock Twp. Community Garden , Pequannock

Community Gardens Weekend - Pequannock and other ...

Green Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_ccf612db2e8a23ffc851_casa

Tue, July 17, 6:00 PM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Education Giving Back Law & Justice

Carousel_image_8890cd6f948a2052375e_aaaaaaaaa

Tue, July 17, 7:00 PM

Amphitheater behind Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Concerts in the Park: The Chapel Concert Band

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_191dff81aa915d36e9bb_a_____montville_township_high_school__2018_tapinto_montville___1.

Tue, July 17, 7:30 PM

Montville Township High School , Montville

Montville Twp Board of Education Meeting

Education

Carousel_image_68b2c879fa7838715e5f_a___assembly_room_before_a_township_committee__2018_tapinto_montville___1.

Tue, July 17, 8:00 PM

Montville Township Municipal Building, Montville

Cable TV & Cable Communication Hearing/Twp Com Mtg

Government

See What's Happening in Morris County's Community Gardens During "Open Gates" Weekend

July 11, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ –  On Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., explore what’s growing in your local community gardens at the Morris County Community Garden Open Gates Weekend.

The latest buzz surrounding food and health topics center on the growing number of community gardens across the country, as they foster civic engagement, offer support to local food ...

Montville Resident Honored by Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey

July 13, 2018

WAYNE, NJ – Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey held its Annual Meeting & Adult Recognition Program on May 9, at William Paterson University in Wayne, honoring more than 300 outstanding volunteers across northern New Jersey with more than 600 awards that recognized their donation of time, talent, and leadership in delivering the Girl Scout program to more than 25,000 girls in northern ...

Montville's Hero and POW Hjalmar Johansson Dies

July 1, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Montville resident and World War II prisoner of war Hjalmar Johansson died suddenly on June 30. He was 92.

Johansson was a nose gunner in the Air Force during WWII in a B-24 bomber aircraft. He was shot down during his first mission and then survived six months in a German prisoner of war camp. One of 17,000 prisoners, he was freed by the Russian forces. By that ...

Montville Township Public Schools Named National District of Character; Lazar Middle School Named National School of Character

July 12, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Montville Township Public Schools was one of only five districts in the nation to be named a 2018 National District of Character by Character.org, a nonprofit organization that validates character initiatives in schools and communities around the world. In addition, Montville Township Public Schools’ Robert R. Lazar Middle School has been named a 2018 National School ...

Roxbury PBA's 13th Wiffleball Tournament; Having Fun and Helping Kids in Need

July 14, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ - Raising money for children with illnesses, 45 teams of all ages faced off at Horseshoe Lake Park on Saturday at the Roxbury PBA’s wiffleball tournament. It was the thirteenth installment of the popular event.

The tournament this year is raising money for fourth grader Matthew Adonis, who is fighting a brain tumor, and five-year-old Samantha Russell, who is combating ...

Woman Struck by Car in Bridgewater Mall Parking Lot Dies

July 13, 2018

Bridgewater, NJ - A Bedminster woman has died from her injuries after she was struck by a car in the parking lot of the Bridgewater Commons Mall Monday.

Marion Kelley, 62, was struck by a vehicle while walking in lot four near the Macy's merchandise pick up area at around 3:20 p.m. Monday.

The 2017 Mazda was driven by Chinmayi Parikh, 33, of Piscataway.

The crash is still being ...

Jersey Central Power & Light Announces Program to Enhance Reliability for Electric Customers

July 14, 2018

Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) filed a four-year infrastructure plan today with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) aimed at enhancing the reliability and resiliency of its distribution system against severe weather and reducing the frequency and duration of power outages.

JCP&L Reliability Plus includes about $400 million in targeted investments ...

Columns

Declaration of Independence – What is it?

July 4, 2018

The definition of a free country is where the government does not control what people say or do for political reasons and where people can express their opinions without punishment. The transition from a totalitarian state to a free country will be long and slow.

In a 2017 report Freedom House said that of the 195 countries assessed, 87 (45%) were rated Free, 59 (30%) Partly Free, ...

OPEN HOUSES This Weekend July 14 & 15, 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX NEIGHBORHOOD PROPERTIES this weekend.

SATURDAY, JULY 14:

 From 12 - 2 p.m.

  4 Hickory Drive, Montville

  Click HERE to see full listing.

 

  From 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

  25 Kanouse Lane, Montville

  Click HERE to see full listing.

 

 From 11 a.m. to 1 ...

OPEN HOUSES This Weekend July 7 & 8, 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX NEIGHBORHOOD PROPERTIES this weekend.

SUNDAY, JULY 8:

  From 1 - 4 p.m.

  63 Francine Avenue, West Caldwell

  Click HERE to see the Full Listing.

 

  From 12 - 2 p.m.

  11A Oklahoma Avenue, Montville

  Click HERE to see the Full Listing.

 

Century 21 Open Houses This Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are the Century 21 Open Houses for this weekend:

Saturday, July 7 from 1- 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using FGPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, July 8 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using FGPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
3 Louis Drive, Montville
8 ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

Pet Corner