New Jersey’s ban on horse slaughter and the use of its road for transporting horses to abattoirs in other states has been hailed by head of the Humane Society of the United States as one of the 10 most important state laws enacted for animals so far in 2012.
Chief executive Wayne Pacelle, writing in his blog, A Humane Nation, said other positive moves includes California’s ban on hound hunting of bears and bobcats, Ohio’s restrictions on ownership of dangerous exotic animals, Idaho’s introduction of some felony-level penalties for cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty, the Illinois ban on the shark-fin trade, and Minnesota’s ban on the sale of shelter pets to laboratories. Only a handful of states still allow pets to be seized from shelters and sold to research labs, Pacelle said.
Pacelle noted that New Jersey had joined California, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Texas in effectively banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the new law late last month.
“This bipartisan measure is a nod to our decency and respect for horses in our state, ensuring that no horse is slaughtered in New Jersey for human consumption,” Christie said at the time.
“It also ensures that our highways will not be used to transport horses to slaughter in other states which have not enacted a similar ban on the practice.”
The new law imposes a fine of at least $US100 and imprisonment of at least 30 days for anyone convicted of slaughtering or selling horse meat for human consumption. It creates civil fines of $US500 to $US1000 for each slaughtered horse.
Christie said he signed the law in an effort to promote greater animal protection and welfare in the state.
Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, who promoted the new law, said: “New Jersey does not eat horse meat and our horses will not be taken from the stable to a table.
“The horse is New Jersey’s state animal and we appreciate these magnificent animals for their grace and beauty. We do not want them butchered or sold to slaughterhouses in our communities for human consumption.”