WHEREAS, working with industry, New Jersey Farm Bureau, veterinarians, Rutgers University, and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, the Department of Agriculture wrote and adopted N.J.A.C. 2:8, which became the first regulations of this kind in the country; and
WHEREAS, the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture and Department of Agriculture have committed themselves to ongoing review of scientific literature, veterinary school, land grant college, and agricultural extension curricula, and other pertinent scientific studies to ensure that New Jersey’s standards continue to reflect practices supported by science and informed by animal welfare concerns; and
WHEREAS, adoption of the Humane Standards Regulation has provided livestock owners with a clear understanding of their responsibilities as to the raising, keeping, care, treatment, marketing and sale of their animals; and
WHEREAS, on February 16, 2007, the Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division (Docket No. A-6319-03T1) upheld standards developed by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA); and
WHEREAS, cooperation between producers law enforcement authorities, the state and county Societies for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (SPCAs) and the Department of Agriculture would enhance the ability of the state to ensure that diseases (or threats of diseases) are identified quickly and that appropriate action has been taken to prevent the transmission of those diseases that could harm the public or other animals; and
WHEREAS, not every enforcement agent or SPCA agent is aware of the technical requirements for raising livestock, which has resulted in a lack of uniform enforcement of the animal welfare standards; and
WHEREAS, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture has the necessary expertise, education and background to understand and identify the requirements for the care and keeping of livestock; this expertise has been recognized by various Animal Control Officers, veterinarians, private citizens, SPCA agents and other state and federal departments who have contacted the Department to request assistance in complaint investigations; and
WHEREAS, there is a need to create a mandatory training course for all animal welfare enforcement officers designed to provide training and education regarding the processes involved in inspecting livestock, and the standards established for the raising, keeping, care, treatment, marketing, and sale of livestock; and to have New Jersey Department of Agriculture involvement in the investigation process to provide technical assistance to enforcement agents who may be unfamiliar with livestock husbandry standards.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the delegates to the 93rd State Agricultural Convention, assembled in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, on February 6, 2008, urge that New Jersey’s agricultural community continue to embrace N.J.A.C. 2:8, Humane Treatment of Domestic Livestock.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we, the delegates, continue to support the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s ongoing review of scientific literature, veterinary schools, land grant college, and agricultural extension curricula, and other pertinent scientific studies to ensure that New Jersey’s standards continue to reflect practices supported by science and informed by animal welfare concerns in consultation with the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we, the delegates, continue to support the Department’s establishment, development and implementation of training programs, needed for enforcement agents, including the Certified Livestock Inspectors established in the rules for producers, law enforcement staff and/or the public, and we urge the Department to develop an educational program for small, new or beginning livestock owners so that they may be familiar with, and comply with, the standards.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we, the delegates, urge cooperation between the Department and those entities who enforce the state’s animal cruelty laws in order to enhance the ability of the state to ensure that diseases (or threats of disease) will be identified quickly and appropriate action taken to prevent the transmission of these diseases which could harm the public or animals.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we, the delegates, recognize the increased interest and concern within the state and country about livestock handling and welfare and therefore support the expansion of services provided by the Division of Animal Health in order to maintain pace with the significant increase in requests for field investigations of alleged violations.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we, the delegates, support appropriate funding levels and resources to properly comply with the Legislature’s mandate that the Department of Agriculture continually review and update standards to ensure the humane care of livestock and poultry.