New Jersey Borough Passes Pet Guardian Resolution

Wanaque, New Jersey, became the first municipality in that state to pass a resolution declaring that pet owners are to be referred to as “guardians.”

Wanaque borough attorney Anthony Fiorello told The Record of Bergen County that the resolution was intended to be entirely symbolic,

It has no legal implication other than to try to bring the animal owner to a greater sense of responsibility to his pet.

Newsday quoted In Defense of Animals’ Elliott Katz as praising the change saying,

This will help people’s general consciousness from thinking animals are just commodities to understanding they’re pets and they need care. This will trickle down to children, and you will see people more pro-active about taking care of their pets; they’ll be less likely to abandon animals.

Katz forgot to mention that it would bring about world peace and solve hunger as well.

Source:

Borough pets now have ‘guardians,’ not owners. Newsday, May 13, 2004.

New Jersey Assembly Bill 2704 – Black Bear Hunt Ban

 

ASSEMBLY, No. 2704

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

211th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 6, 2004

 

 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman ANTHONY CHIAPPONE

District 31 (Hudson)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

    Prohibits black bear hunting, creates black bear study commission,
authorizes issuance and sale of NJ Black Bear Stamp, establishes NJ Black
Bear Stamp Account.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

    As introduced.

 

An Act concerning the hunting of black bear, supplementing Title 23
of the Revised Statutes
, and making an appropriation.

 

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State
of New Jersey:

 

    1. Not withstanding any law, rule, regulation, or provision of the
State Fish and Game Code, there shall be no open season or any
hunting by permit for black bears anywhere in the State.

 

    2. a. There is established a Black Bear Study Commission, which
shall comprise 11 members as follows: two veterinarians licensed in
the State of New Jersey,
having experience with black bears, who
shall be appointed by the Governor; a representative of the Humane
Society of the United States, who shall be appointed by that
organization; a representative of the Bear Education and Resource
Group, who shall be appointed by that organization; a representative
of persons residing in those areas of the State where black bear are
regularly found, who shall be appointed by the governing body of
West Milford Township in Passaic County; a representative of the
Sierra Club, who shall be appointed by that organization; a
representative of the Mountain Preservation Society, who shall be
appointed by that organization; a member of the Nature Preservation
Council, who shall be appointed by that organization; a representative
of the Farm Bureau, who shall be appointed by that organization; an
animal control officer having experience with black bears, who shall
be appointed by the governor; and a representative of the Department
of Environmental Protection, who shall be appointed by that agency.
The Governor shall appoint the Chair.

    b. Members of the commission shall serve at the pleasure of the
relevant appointing authority.

    c. Vacancies in the appointed positions on the commission shall
be filled in the same manner as the original appointments.

    d. Members of the commission shall serve without compensation,
but the commission may, within the limits of funds appropriated or
otherwise made available to it, reimburse members for actual
expenses necessarily incurred in the discharge of their official duties.

 

    3. a. The commission shall organize as soon as possible after the
appointment of its members and shall meet at such times and places
as it deems appropriate.

    b. A majority of the full membership of the commission shall
constitute a quorum for the transaction of commission business.
Action may be taken and motions and resolutions adopted by the
commission at any meeting thereof by the affirmative vote of a
majority of the full membership of the commission.

    c. The commission shall be entitled to call to its assistance and
avail itself of the services and assistance of such officials and
employees of the State and its political subdivisions and their
departments, boards, bureaus, commissions, authorities, and agencies
as it may require and as may be available to it for its purposes, and
incur traveling and other miscellaneous expenses as it may deem
necessary, in order to perform its duties, and may expend any funds
as may be appropriated or otherwise made available to it for its
purposes.
       d. Prior to preparing the initial report required pursuant
to section 4 of this act, the commission shall hold at least one public
hearing to solicit public input on the issues under the jurisdiction of
the commission.

 

    4. a. The commission shall, within one year after the date of
enactment of this act, and quarterly each year for the next four years
thereafter, prepare and issue a written report, which may include
recommendations to be made to the Governor, the Legislature, the
Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of
Agriculture, concerning (1) the status and management of the black
bear population in the State, and (2) the availability, effectiveness,
implementation, and use of nonlethal black bear population control
methods, reproductive control procedures, aversive conditioning
techniques, and public education and training efforts and programs to
reduce, to the maximum extent practicable and feasible, actual and
potential conflicts between black bears and humans. Copies of each
commission report shall be made available to the public at no cost.

    b. For the period during which it exists, the commission shall
advise the Department of Environmental Protection with respect to the
creation, design, administration, sale, distribution, and other matters
related to the New Jersey Black Bear Stamp, and the reproduction,
replica, or other utilization of its design, authorized pursuant to
section 6 of this act. The commission shall also advise the
Department of Environmental Protection with respect to the
utilization of revenues in the New Jersey Black Bear Stamp Account
established pursuant to section 7 of this act.

    c. The commission shall expire five years after the date of
enactment of this act.

 

    5. There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Black Bear
Study Commission the sum of $10,000 to carry out the purposes of
this act.

 

    6. a. The Department of Environmental Protection is authorized
to issue annually a Black Bear Stamp, which may be procured from
the department or from other designated agents deemed qualified by
the department. The fee for the New Jersey Black Bear Stamp shall
be $10.

    b. The department shall determine the final design and form of the
New Jersey Black Bear Stamp to be issued each year. The department
shall retain reproduction and distribution rights to the design of any
New Jersey Black Bear Stamp issued.

    c. The sole purpose for issuance of the New Jersey Black Bear
Stamp shall be to raise revenue for the purposes set forth in section 7
of this act.

 

    7. a. There is established within the Department of Environmental
Protection a separate and dedicated account to be known as the “New
Jersey Black Bear Stamp Account.” The account shall be credited
with all revenues received by the department from the sale of the New
Jersey Black Bear Stamp and of any reproduction, replica, or other
utilization of the design of the stamp. Moneys in the account shall be
utilized by the Department of Environmental Protection, in
consultation with the Department of Agriculture, to (1) compensate
farmers for documented damage or injury to, or loss of, agricultural
or horticultural crops, livestock, or other personal or real property due
to black bear activity, and (2) assist in paying the cost of public
education and training efforts and programs to reduce, to the
maximum extent practicable and feasible, actual and potential
conflicts between black bears and humans.

    b. The New Jersey Black Bear Stamp Account shall be kept
separate and apart from all other funds and accounts, and moneys
shall be disbursed therefrom by the State Treasurer to the Department
of Environmental Protection only for the purposes identified in this
section.

 

    8. The Department of Environmental Protection may adopt,
pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410
(C.52:14B-1 et seq.), any rules and regulations necessary to
administer the provisions of sections 6 and 7 of this act, including, but
not limited rules and regulations pertaining to, (1) the creation,
design, administration, sale, distribution, and establishment of prices
for any reproduction, replica, or other utilization of the design of any
New Jersey Black Bear Stamp issued, and (2) the distribution of
moneys from the New Jersey Black Bear Stamp Account established
pursuant to section 7 of this act.

 

    9. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    This bill would prohibit any open season hunting or any hunting by
permit of black bear in the State. In addition, this bill would create
an 11-member Black Bear Study Commission, composed of
representatives of various interest groups, who would be charged with
preparing, within one year and quarterly for four years thereafter, a
written report concerning (1) the status and management of the black
bear population in the State, and (2) the availability, effectiveness,
implementation, and use of nonlethal black bear population control
methods, reproductive control procedures, aversive conditioning
techniques, and public education and training efforts and programs to
reduce, to the maximum extent practicable and feasible, actual and
potential conflicts between black bears and humans. The bill would
require the commission to hold at least one public hearing prior to the
preparation of its initial report to solicit public input on the issues
under jurisdiction of the commission. Each report may include
recommendations to be made to the Governor, the Legislature, and
various State agencies. The commission would expire in five years.

    The bill would appropriate $10,000 to the Black Bear Study
Commission to carry out its duties under the legislation.

    In addition, the bill would authorize the Department of
Environmental Protection to issue annually a New Jersey Black Bear
Stamp, which may be procured from the department or from other
designated agents deemed qualified by the department. The fee for
the stamp would be $10. The department would retain reproduction
and distribution rights to the design of any New Jersey Black Bear
Stamp issued. The stamps would be sold solely for fund-raising
purposes as prescribed in the bill.

    Finally, the bill would establish the “New Jersey Black Bear Stamp
Account,” which would be credited with all revenues received by the
Department of Environmental Protection from the sale of the New
Jersey Black Bear Stamp and of any reproduction, replica, or other
utilization of the design of the stamp. Moneys in the account would
be utilized by the Department of Environmental Protection, in
consultation with the Department of Agriculture, to (1) compensate
farmers for documented damage or injury to, or loss of, agricultural
or horticultural crops, livestock, or other personal or real property due
to black bear activity, and (2) assist in paying the cost of public
education and training efforts and programs to reduce, to the
maximum extent practicable and feasible, actual and potential
conflicts between black bears and humans.

New Jersey Assembly Bill 2634 – Ban on Bear Hunting

 

ASSEMBLY, No. 2634

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

211th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 3, 2004

 

 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman ANTHONY CHIAPPONE

District 31 (Hudson)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

    Prohibits black bear hunting for five years and until study is issued by Fish
and Game Council; appropriates $95,000.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

    As introduced.

 

An Act concerning the hunting of black bear and making an
appropriation.

 

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State
of New Jersey:

 

    1. a. Notwithstanding any law, rule, regulation, or provision of the
State Fish and Game Code to the contrary, there shall be no open
season nor any hunting by permit for black bear anywhere in the State
prior to five years after the effective date of this act and until a study
is conducted by the New Jersey Fish and Game Council pursuant to
subsection b. of this section.

    b. The Fish and Game Council shall, within 18 months after the
date of enactment of this act, conduct a study setting forth (1) the
status and management of the black bear population in the State, (2)
an analysis of the population growth of black bear in the State, and (3)
information on the availability, effectiveness, and implementation of
alternative black bear population control methods, reproductive
control methods, and sterilization control methods. Upon completion
of this study, the State Fish and Game Council shall submit a written
report to the Department of Environmental Protection, the Governor,
and both Houses of the Legislature.

 

    2. There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Fish and
Game Council the sum of $95,000 to carry out the purposes of this
act.

 

    3. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    This bill would impose a statutory moratorium on black bear
hunting in the State for five years after the date of enactment of this
bill and require the State Fish and Game Council to conduct a study
on the black bear population in the State.

    The provisions of the bill would provide that the Fish and Game
Council shall, within 18 months after the enactment of this bill,
conduct a study setting forth (1) the status and management of the
black bear population in the State, (2) an analysis of the population
growth of black bear in the State, and (3) information on the
availability, effectiveness, and implementation of alternative black
bear population control methods, reproductive control methods, and
sterilization control methods.
Upon completion of this study, the
State Fish and Game Council shall submit a written report to the
Department of Environmental Protection, the Governor, and both
Houses of the Legislature.

    This bill also would appropriate $95,000 to the Fish and Game
Council for the preparation and completion of the study.

Excluding Animal Killing from Jayson Williams Case Was Appropriate

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals overstepped its bounds quite a bit in arguing that prejudicial evidence about Jayson Williams killing his dog should have been allowed in Williams’ manslaughter trial.

For those not following this case, Williams is a former National Basketball Association star who is charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a limousine driver who drove Williams and his party to Williams’ mansion in February 2002. According to witnesses, Williams was showing off a shotgun to guests when the gun discharged while aimed at limousine driver Costas Christoffi. In addition to manslaughter, Williams is charged with trying to cover-up the crime including asking guests to lie to police about the circumstances of the shooting.

Testimony at his trial portrayed Williams as a depraved individual. According to one witness, for example, while Christoffi lay wounded and dying, Williams pressed the shotgun into his hands in order to set up a defense that Christoffi had accidentally shot himself.

That testimony was allowed in, but testimony about an alleged incident in 2001 was excluded as prejudicial. Williams’ former teammate Dwayne Schintzius claimed that in 2001, Williams bet him $100 that he could not get one of Williams’ guard dogs out of the house and onto the porch. According to Schintzius, when he returned a few minutes later with the dog, Williams went into the house and returned with a rifle. He then shot and killed the dog and threatened Schintzius with the gun.

After hearing Schintzius’ claims with the jury in recess, Judge Edward Coleman ruled that Schintzius’ testimony would be overly prejudicial and refused to allow the jury to hear testimony about the alleged incident. The judge apparently agreed with Williams’ defense attorney that putting Schintzius on the stand was simply “a strategic attempt by the prosecution to smear Mr. Williams in the eyes of the jury and deny him a fair trial.”

In response, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals issued a press release in February expressing its disappointment at the judge’s decision. According to the ASPCA,

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is shocked by the decision a New Jersey judge has made which bars the submission of evidence that basketball star, Jayson Williams killed his pet Rottweiler at his home in Alexandria, NJ. Williams, who is accused of aggravated manslaughter in the death of Costas Christofi, allegedly shot his pet twice in the head and abdomen just six months prior to the the Christofi shooting.

“There is clearcut evidence which indicates that people who intentionally injure or kill animals are inclined to act violently towards people,” says Dr. Stephanie LaFarge, Director of the ASPCA’s Counseling Services department. “Research has shown that people who are violent toward the family pet as Jayson Williams allegedly was, are more inclined to be violent towards their family and friends.”

What is shocking is that the APSCA would put out such an absurd claim. In fact, it demonstrates exactly why the judge was correct in excluding any evidence about the alleged shooting of the dog — because jurors are likely to jump to the conclusion, as the APSCA apparently has, that if he shot his dog he is “more inclined” to have shot the limousine driver.

Fortunately, in the United States we still judge people based on evidence rather than on studies about possible “inclinations.” The judge in this case was correct — Schintzius’ would have been overly prejudicial and had no business being brought up in his manslaughter trial.

Source:

ASPCA Disappointed at Decision of Judge in the Pretrial Hearing of Jayson Williams. Press Release, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, February 6, 2004.