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PIJAC Lobbies Against 3 Proposed Pet Laws




The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) is advising retailers, breeders and pet owners to speak out against legislation that the organization says threatens the rights of sellers or owners in three jurisdictions.

PIJAC signaled its opposition today to two proposals:

  • A ban on the possession and sale of certain exotic animals in Anaheim, Calif.
  • A stricter animal control ordinance in Stanly County, N.C.
  • The nonprofit Washington, D.C., trade association also raised an alarm Tuesday about a proposed pet sales ban in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.

CALIFORNIA

The Anaheim ordinance, introduced Tuesday to the City Council, lists the orders and families of exotic animals that would be banned, including  chimpanzees, alligators, opposums, skunks, ostriches and snakes over 8 feet long. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 9.

The proposal exempts reptile shows held at Anaheim Convention Center, veterinarians who treat exotic animals, and public zoos and aquarium accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

“PIJAC supports reasonable regulation of animals that may pose a threat to public health or safety but does not believe absolute bans are sound public policy,” the organization stated. “Furthermore, such bans drive business underground, thereby depriving the government of effective regulation.”

PIJAC urged opponents to contact the City Council members.

By Anaheim’s count, 35 municipalities in the United States have partial or full bans on exotic animals.

NORTH CAROLINA

The Stanly County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing Oct. 15 to consider an ordinance [PDF here] that would revamp animal cruelty laws and canine licensure requirements, and ban ownership of “inherently dangerous exotic animals.”

The banned animals would include primates, wolves and wolf hybrids, nondomesticated cats over 15 pounds, venomous reptiles, insects and arachnids, and nonindigenous constrictor snakes.

“Reptiles and some constrictor snakes are widely traded in the pet industry and pose no threat to the public,” PIJAC stated, adding that it does support “reasonable regulation” of certain potentially dangerous animals.

The organization asked owners and breeders of animals classified as “inherently dangerous” to demand that the Board of Commissioners reject the ordinance.

NEW JERSEY

The Borough Council in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., will hold a public hearing Oct. 9 on an ordinance [PDF Here] that would forbid pet stores from selling cats, dogs and other mammals. Adopted animals would be exempt, as would hamsters, guinea pigs, mice and rabbits.

Breeders and existing pet stores could continue animal sales indefinitely.

“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,” PIJAC contended. “Pet bans drive legitimate retailers out of business and create an underground market for illegitimate sellers of pets who need not observe the extensive regulatory requirements to which pet stores are subject.”

Pet owners, retailers and other opponents of the ban were advised to contact borough council members.

“This battle against a ban on pets is not over,” PIJAC concluded in its statement. “Further action is essential for success.”

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