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Wimberly Bill, "Brianna’s Law," Would Criminalize Transport, Slaughter or Sale of Gestating Cow

Bill Prompted by Pregnant Cow Roaming on Highway, Headed to Slaughterhouse

In an effort to ensure the humane treatment of animals, Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic) has introduced legislation to make the slaughter, transport for slaughter, or sale of a pregnant cow a fourth-degree offense.

The bill (A-4886) is referred to as “Brianna’s Law” and was inspired by a pregnant cow who, to the awe of drivers, trotted along Route 80 after escaping a truck headed to a Paterson slaughterhouse on December 27. She gave birth to her calf, Winter, two days later.

“All animals deserve to be treated humanely and with dignity,” said Assemblyman Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic). “A pregnant cow is no different. This measure will help ensure that perpetrators pay, literally, for failing to exhibit such treatment.”

Although the legislation is still in its initial form, the current version punishes violators with criminal penalties of $3,000-$10,000 in fines for each conviction and up to 18-months imprisonment. Civil penalties range from $3,000-$5,000 for each pregnant cow. Provisions for first, second and third degree offenses are being adding to the measure.

The bill was introduced January 16 and heads to the Assembly speaker for review.