Legislation that would provide stricter protections for animals in danger of abuse was approved by the Assembly Agriculture Committee on Thursday.
“As a humane society, we should not tolerate abuses against animals any more than we would against a person,” said Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “We’ve seen a number of high profile animal abuse cases in recent years, a good number of which arise from domestic disputes, lending even more support for this legislation. Whether it’s indirect abuse, like starvation, direct abuse such as physical violence or the anger of a disgruntled spouse or partner, this bill will help protect innocent animals,” said Gusciora.
The bill would authorize the courts to issue an animal protection order against any person found guilty of abusing an animal or otherwise violating the state animal cruelty laws. The animal protection order would require the person to refrain from interacting with an animal permanently or for a period of time specified by the court.
The animal protection order may apply to a specific animal with which the individual has contact, or any other animal, as determined to be appropriate by the court.
Any person who knowingly violates a condition of an animal protection order issued pursuant to this section, and, as a result, causes injury to the animal that is the subject of the animal protection order, shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense.
The measure now awaits consideration by the full Assembly.
Bill Text: NJ Assembly Bill 347 - 2012-2013 Regular Session
ASSEMBLY, No. 347
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION
Assemblyman REED GUSCIORA
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Assemblyman DANIEL R. BENSON
District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)
Requires court to issue animal protective orders against persons found guilty of abusing animals.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on June 14, 2012, with amendments.
AN ACT concerning the protection of animals from abuse and supplementing Title 4 of the Revised Statutes.
BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. 1a.1 In addition to the provisions of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes concerning the confiscation and restrictions on ownership of animals, the court, upon finding a person guilty of abusing an animal or otherwise violating the State animal cruelty laws, may issue an animal protection order against the person adjudged guilty of the abuse or other violation, requiring the person to refrain from interacting with an animal permanently or for a period of time specified by the court. The 1[court may issue the]1 animal protection order 1[to] may1 apply to a specific animal with which the adjudged person has had contact 1,1 or any 1other1 animal, as determined to be appropriate by the court.
1b. Any person who knowingly violates a condition of an animal protection order issued pursuant to this section, and, as a result, causes injury to the animal that is the subject of the animal protection order, shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense.1
2. This act shall take effect immediately.