S63, previously discussed, will be heard this Thursday (June 23, 2016) by the NJ Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee at 10:00 AM in Committee Room 4, 1st Floor, State House Annex, Trenton, NJ.
The bill repeals, in its entirety, the Pet Purchase Protection Act (PPPA), which was amended, effective June 1, 2015, and is now considered to provide consumers with the greatest protections in the country when purchasing dogs and cats from pet stores in New Jersey.
Despite my concerns that the PPPA, in its current form, impermissibly regulates extraterritorial pet breeders in violation of the Commerce and Supremacy Clauses of the United States Constitution, repealing it will not protect consumers or pets.
Both the American Kennel Club and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) have issued alerts and are urging those concerned about its “adoption” (no pun intended) to submit comments. You can access PIJAC’s notice here.
The bill also prohibits sales of dogs and cats bred by USDA licensed breeders to pet stores, limiting sales from stores to pets sourced from animal shelters and rescues (Retail Rescue Corporations). These Retail Rescue Corporations obtain pets from random sources, unlicensed large scale substandard breeders, defined by USDA as “puppy mills” from outside of the state and the country.
Unwitting consumers believing that they are “rescuing” these pets, are doing nothing of the sort. These pets are now being bred for the retail rescue market, from which Retail Rescue Corporations are profiting handsomely. The protections afforded by the Pet Purchase Protection Act for pets sold with infectious, contagious diseases, and genetic disorders would put Retail Rescue Corporations out of business if the PPPA were to apply to them, since many pets sold (“adopted”) by these facilities suffer from these maladies. Therefore S63 aims both to mandate sales sourced only from Retail Rescue Corporations and eliminates all accountability resulting from sales of sick pets.
S63 would also require only face-to-face sales of dogs and cats between breeders and consumers, requiring New Jersey citizens to drive or fly out of state to purchase directly from an USDA Class A breeder (there are no Class A breeders in NJ) and out-of-state exempt breeders. Puppies cannot be sold over the internet and then transported to their owners in NJ by any means. These restrictions represent the most egregious violations of the Commerce Clause in any pet store ban thus far considered or enacted.