Posted: July 3, 2012, 3:45 p.m. EDT
The Brick Township (N.J.) Council is scheduled to vote on an ordinance banning the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores at its meeting on July 10, 2012.
Under the ordinance, “No pet store operator or pet store shall sell, deliver, offer for sale, barter, auction or otherwise improperly dispose of cats or dogs in the Township of Brick…Nothing contained herein shall prohibit a shelter, pound or other establishment from keeping, displaying, selling or otherwise transferring any cat or dog that has been seized, rescued or donated.”
According to the ordinance, it addresses the council’s interest to promote animal welfare rather than deal with an existing problem in the city.
“The Township Council recognizes that not all dogs and cats retailed in pet stores are products of inhumane breeding conditions and would not classify every commercial breeder selling dogs or cats to pet stores as a ‘puppy mill’ or ‘kitten factory,’ it is the Township Council’s belief that puppy mills and kitten factories continue to exist in part because of public demand for the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores,” the ordinance reads.
The council passed the ordinance on first reading on June 26, 2012. The July 10 vote would be the final vote and the ordinance would be enacted if approved then.
The ordinance, first introduced in March, no longer includes language that bans breeding facilities of a certain size. The ordinance does exempt pet stores that currently sell cats and dogs.
Penalties for violating or failing to comply with the ordinance’s provisions include fines of up to $2,000, jail terms of up to 90 days, and community service for up to 90 days. Each day of non-compliance would be considered a separate violation.
The July 10, 2012, hearing on the ordinance takes place at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building at 401 Chambers Bridge Road, Brick, N.J.
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) of Washington, D.C., which opposes the ordinance, recommends interested parties read the proposal and contact council members with questions and concerns.
Among PIJAC’s concerns with the ordinance is that banning future pet stores from selling pets in Brick Township could lead to underground markets and that pet store animals are at least as healthy as those from other sources.
“PIJAC strong supports the right of responsible pet owners to have options as to where they obtain their animals based on the pet owner’s individual circumstances, needs and preferences,” according to PIJAC. “Pet stores provide healthy, responsibly raised pets to the public and should serve as one of the options pet owners may turn to in choosing a companion animal.”<HOME>
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