Following Tennessee’s lead (the only state with a similar law currently in place), one New Jersey lawmaker is working to create a registry for animal abusers. This registry would be similar to those currently used to track convicted sex offenders. New Jersey joins several other states (Massachusetts, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania) that are working on this kind of help for abused animals.
Assemblyman Troy Singleton of Burlington County, NJ sponsored the bill, which, if passed, will be set up as part of the New Jersey Department of Health. Singleton told The Wall Street Journal that the site would show the photos and offenses of anyone convicted or held liable in an animal cruelty case.BarkPost
Under the proposed legislation, information on convicted animal abusers would be readily available to the public, just like similar information is now available on sex offenders.
This wold differ from a registry that New York City implemented in 2014. New York’s registry information is not available to the public. The NYC registry is used by animal related business and organization as part of their employee screening process. Abusers who have been entered into the registry are banned for up to 10 years from interacting with animals or owning one.
Some have expressed concerns that the registry will be used incorrectly or display inaccurate information. The Center for Constitutional Rights say that an online display would be tantamount to public shaming and unlikely to reduce the problem of abuse. Tennessee’s registry currently displays the names, photos, addresses, dates of birth and conviction details of two men. The site just launched earlier this year.BarkPost
Online Registry for Animal Abusers Going Through the System
Like other new laws, the proposed bill to create an online registry for animal abusers in New Jersey will still have to be approved by the Assembly and the Senate. Then it must be signed into law by the governor.
Concerned groups, working to eliminate animal abuse have expressed their support for this type of legislation. Of course there are always those who feel it is “too much” and those who fell that it is “too little.” At least it is a step toward protecting the rights of those that can’t protect themselves.
Featured Image via Rescue Dogs Rock NYC/Facebook
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