As a learned colleague said, no bad bill goes away [forever].
Moose’s Law S861, one of the worst of the worst bills, has resurfaced and will be heard by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee on Monday, November 18, 2019 – 10:00 AM, at Committee Room 6, 1st Floor, State House Annex, Trenton, NJ.
For any animal facility except academic research facilities and livestock operations̶—that would be exempt if the law is adopted—private research facilities, veterinary practices, animal shelters, zoos, pet stores, and any other animal facility will have to adopt draconian hiring and employment practices that will make volunteering and other employment opportunities at these facilities nearly impossible.
The Department of Health will have to conduct criminal background checks and other reviews of potential volunteers and employees, based on information that is simply not available within the State of New Jersey and impossible to obtain about potential acts conducted outside the State—whether an individual has been convicted or not.
No one wants someone who will intentionally and cruelly treat an animal to be placed in a position, as an employee or volunteer, to conduct such acts, but this bill, if adopted, is simply unworkable. And it will handicap those animal facilities, including veterinary practices, where students have historically begun their training as aspiring veterinarians.
With the shortage of veterinarians in the country, particularly in rural areas where large animal practitioners are desperately needed, this bill would end up harming—not protecting—animals in need of veterinary care.
An alternate means to protect animals should replace this well-intentioned bill that falls woefully short.