P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 88, approved May 8, 1997

Senate Committee Substitute (First Reprint) for

Senate, No. 465






An Act concerning the animal cruelty laws and the killing of certain types of rats 1[,] and1 mice 1[and other animals posing a significant public health threat]1 , and amending R.S.4:22-16.


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


      1. R.S.4:22-16 is amended to read as follows:

      4:22-16. Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to prohibit or interfere with:

      a. Properly conducted scientific experiments performed under the authority of the Department of Health or the United States Department of Agriculture. Those departments may authorize the conduct of such experiments or investigations by agricultural stations and schools maintained by the State or federal government, or by medical societies, universities, colleges and institutions incorporated or authorized to do business in this State and having among their corporate purposes investigation into the causes, nature, prevention and cure of diseases in men and animals; and may for cause revoke such authority;

      b. The killing or disposing of an animal or creature by virtue of the order of a constituted authority of the State;

      c. The shooting or taking of game or game fish in such manner and at such times as is allowed or provided by the laws of this State;

      d. The training or engaging of a dog to accomplish a task or participate in an activity or exhibition designed to develop the physical or mental characteristics of that dog. These activities shall be carried

out in accordance with the practices, guidelines or rules established by an organization founded for the purpose of promoting and enhancing working dog activities or exhibitions; in a manner which does not adversely affect the health or safety of the dog; and may include avalanche warning, guide work, obedience work, carting, dispatching, freight racing, packing, sled dog racing, sledding, tracking, and weight pull demonstrations;

      e. The raising, keeping, care, treatment, marketing, and sale of domestic livestock in accordance with the standards developed and adopted therefor pursuant to subsection a. of section 1 of P.L.1995, c.311 (C.4:22-16.1); and

      f. The killing or disposing 1, by a reasonable or commercially acceptable method or means,1 of a Norway or brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), black rat (Rattus rattus), or house mouse (Mus musculus) 1[, or any other animal deemed by the Department of Health, in consultation with the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to pose a significant threat to the public health and identified as such in rules and regulations which shall be adopted by the Department of Health pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) within 180 days of the effective date of P.L. , c. (C. ) (now before the Legislature as this bill),]1 by any person, or with the permission or at the direction of that person, while the animal is on property either owned or leased by, or otherwise under the control of, that person, provided that the animal is not a pet .

(cf: P.L.1995, c.311, s.2)


      2. This act shall take effect immediately.




Exempts killing of certain types of rats and mice from animal cruelty laws.