New Jersey

Updates about legal issues facing animals in the state

The Animal Legal Defense Fund works at the federal, state and local levels to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals. This page is meant to be used as a resource to see what is happening in your state and what actions you can take for animals.

State Rankings

Each year, the Animal Legal Defense Fund publishes its U.S. State Animal Protection Laws Rankings Report. It is the longest-running and most authoritative of its kind, assessing the strength of each state’s animal protection laws by examining over 3,400 pages of statutes. Each state is ranked based on 19 different categories of animal protection.

New Jersey
Overall Rank: #17 (Middle Tier)

  • +Care requirements (food, water, shelter, care, etc.) are well-defined
  • +Animal fighting is a state RICO predicate offense
  • -Veterinarians are not required to report suspected animal cruelty
  • -No provisions for pre-conviction restitution or forfeiture
  • -Prohibition on leaving animals in hot cars, but law enforcement do not have immunity to rescue

Active Legislation

cat and dog

Cross-Reporting Suspected Abuse (New Jersey)

Mandates veterinary and inter-agency reporting of suspected abuse (A.4880/S.3168)
Communication between government agencies is critical to helping ensure multiple forms of abuse — including animal abuse — are exposed and addressed. A.4880/S.3168 would mandate veterinary and inter-agency reporting of suspected animal abuse.
pig

Gestation and Veal Crate Ban (New Jersey)

Prohibits the intensive confinement of mother pigs and calves used for veal (S. 3401/A. 5236)
S.3401/A.5236, sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Assemblyman Raj Mukherj, would ban gestation crates and veal crates, mandating mother pigs and calves have enough space to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs.
cat dog

Courtroom Animal Advocate Program (New Jersey)

Courtroom Animal Advocates
Courtroom Animal Advocate Program (CAAP) laws allow advocates — supervised law students or volunteer lawyers — to advocate for animal victims in criminal cruelty cases.
Fox

Banning Killing Contests (New Jersey)

Prohibits harassing or killing certain wildlife species at competitive events (S.1176 / A.1365)
S.1176/A.1365, championed by Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-5) and Assembly Member Daniel Benson (D-14), would prohibit harassing or killing certain wildlife at competitive events.
Dogs in Hot Cars (New Jersey)

Dogs in Hot Cars (New Jersey)

Protecting Good Samaritans Who Rescue Dogs in Hot Cars (S.1175/A.4540)
Provides civil and criminal immunity to people who in good faith rescue an animal from a motor vehicle under dangerous conditions.
dog

Animal Possession Ban (New Jersey)

Moose’s Law (S.1258 and A.2319)
Prohibits people convicted of criminal animal cruelty offenses from possessing domestic companion animals for at least two years and from working or volunteering at animal-related enterprises.

Active Cases

No results found.

Recent Victories

rabbits

Prohibiting the Sale of Cosmetics Tested on Animals (New Jersey)

Prohibits the sale of cosmetics that were developed or manufactured using animal tests on or after March 1, 2022 (A.795/ S.1726)
The New Jersey Humane Cosmetics Act, A.795/ S.1726, prohibits the sale of cosmetics that were developed or manufactured using animal tests on or after March 1, 2022.

Take Action

Take action now to help animals in your state.

cat and dog

New Jersey: Ask Your Legislators to Protect Animal Cruelty Victims!

Tell legislators that you support a bill that would create a Courtroom Animal Advocate Program (CAAP) in New Jersey.
pigs

New Jersey: End the Cruel Confinement of Mother Pigs and Calves Used for Veal

Please help end the intensive confinement of mother pigs and calves used for veal in New Jersey by urging your state senator to support S.3401/A.5236.
cat and dog

New Jersey: Ask Your Legislators to Enact a Law Mandating Reporting Suspected Abuse

Communication between government agencies is critical to helping ensure multiple forms of abuse — including animal abuse — is exposed and addressed. By mandating cross-reporting between groups like veterinary clinics and child protection agencies, we can help protect our most vulnerable populations.
Fox

New Jersey: Urge Your Legislators to Ban Cruel Killing Contests

S.1176 / A.1365, championed by Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez and Assembly Member Daniel Benson, would prohibit harassing or killing certain wildlife at competitive events and is now being considered by the New Jersey Legislature.
New Jersey: Protect Animals From Extreme Conditions In Motor Vehicles!

New Jersey: Protect Animals From Extreme Conditions In Motor Vehicles!

A.4540/S1175 provides civil and criminal immunity to persons who in good faith enter a motor vehicle to rescue an animal if the person reasonably believes that the animal is in immediate danger.
cow

Stop Ag-Gag Laws

Undercover investigations and whistleblowers have exposed some of the worst aspects of factory farming, but Ag-Gag laws punish people who speak out about cruelty in animal agriculture. Voice your opposition.
dog

No More Puppy Mills

Puppy mill operators maximize their profits by producing large numbers of puppies as quickly as possible. As a result, unsanitary conditions, disease, and neglect are rampant. Sign our pledge to boycott puppy mills. Together we can end cruel puppy mills.
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals

Want to take the next step in your animal advocacy? Learn the skills you need to pass laws protecting animals at the local level! Local laws are critical – not only do they help individual animals in your community but prime state legislation.
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Prohibiting Circuses and Traveling Shows that Exploit Animals

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Prohibiting Circuses and Traveling Shows that Exploit Animals

Learn how wild animals are exploited in circuses and traveling shows, and how you can help!
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Fur Bans

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Fur Bans

Learn how to fight back against the cruel fur industry by passing a fur ban in your community! Led by Animal Legal Defense Fund Campaigns Manager Elizabeth Holtz, this webinar will walk you through the mechanics of fur production, the policy issues, including animal cruelty, environmental impacts, and public health, and more.