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Assembly Panel OK's Albano, Wilson, Caride & Giblin Bill Package to Crack Down on Animal Cruelty Offenses, Boost Standards for Care
Four-Bill Package Calls for More Humane Treatment of Both Domestic & Farm Animals(TRENTON) -- An Assembly panel on Thursday approved a comprehensive package of bills sponsored by Assembly Democrats Nelson Albano, Gilbert "Whip" Wilson, Marlene Caride and Thomas Giblin to crack down on animal cruelty offenses, increase penalties for violators and boost standards of care for both domestic and farm animals.
"There is a need to elevate the seriousness with which courts address animal cruelty offenses because offenders too often receive minimal or no fines for offenses that are many times treated as civil violations and not criminal offenses," said Albano (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). "We've evolved a great deal as a society over the last century and our laws pertaining to the treatment of all living things should reflect that."
Specifically, the bill package includes:
"New Jersey has evolved dramatically since our first animal cruelty laws were put into place in the late 1800's," said Giblin (D-Essex/Passaic). "Unfortunately, many of our animal abuse and neglect laws have failed to evolve along with us. These changes will enhance compliance and enforcement to address the humane treatment of animals."
"There continues to be too much disregard for the proper treatment of animals in society," said Caride (D-Bergen/Passaic). "Some of our anti-cruelty laws are extremely outdated and reflect the role of animals in commerce at that time. It's time we update them to reflect our evolving mores and values."
Some of the bills arose from the 2004 Animal Welfare Task Force report, which was put together by a panel of animal cruelty experts who deliberated for at least a year on the issues. The task force recommendations and a number of the bills' provisions draw on the recommendations made by the State Commission of Investigation concerning animal cruelty, animal control, and animal shelters throughout the state that the commission has investigated and studied since the early part of last decade.
The measures were approved by the Assembly Agriculture Committee and now await consideration by the full Assembly.
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