Senator Lesniak of the New Jersey State Senate recently introduced NJ SB. 63, which infringes on the right to conduct business via the Internet. This bill specifically attempts to regulate an already regulated industry, animal breeding. It is now a common practice to purchase a puppy of a specific breed or cross breeds online from a private breeder.
The senator uses the rallying cry of animal abuse to shield the true nature of the bill, more intrusion and regulation of the internet on the part of the government. Animal abuse should be taken seriously. Americans level of awareness of “puppy mills” or other unsavory breeding methods for any pet has raised dramatically over the decades. It is my belief that no one in search of that special pet wants their best friend or its relatives to have been abused in any way.
This problem of abuse and added regulation has already been addressed by Animal Plant Health Inspection Service through USDA in 2013. The rule established that these “unseen sellers” must be federally licensed, thus allowing inspection by federal authorities. The rule also encourages buyers to report inhumane conditions and sickness stemming from breeding mismanagement. To put it simply, the New Jersey bill is there only to force regulation down the throats of small business owners while increasing government control.
The bill, read to the letter, seems to completely ignore the need for service and emotional support dogs, which are often done via the Internet sometimes through unseen sellers. Many people with mental and physical disorders, ranging from a child with autism to a veteran to PTSD, use service dogs to better their quality of life. This bill has the potential to hurt those in need by limiting their access to available animals.