Bill Text: NJ A5108 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires certain veterinary facilities to obtain signed consent form for unsupervised overnight stays of domestic companion animals.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (? 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-05 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee [A5108 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-A5108-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 5108

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 5, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOE DANIELSEN

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires certain veterinary facilities to obtain signed consent form for unsupervised overnight stays of domestic companion animals.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning supervision of domestic companion animals at certain veterinary facilities and amending P.L.2015, c.110.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

      1.   Section 1 of P.L.2015, c.110 (C.45:16-8.3) is amended to read as follows:

      1.   a.   Every veterinary facility in the State shall post its normal business hours in a conspicuous location easily visible to the public.

      b.   (1)   A veterinarian overseeing the care of a domestic companion animal at a veterinary facility that does not provide domestic companion animals with supervision after normal business hours by a person physically on the premises shall provide written notification to each person bringing a domestic companion animal to the veterinary facility for care or treatment.  The written notification may be provided as a sign posted next to the posting required pursuant to subsection a. of this section, as part of a sign used to meet the posting requirement of that subsection, or on an intake form provided to each person bringing a domestic companion animal to the veterinary facility.

     (2)   The written notification provided in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection shall include the following specific language:

     "This veterinary facility does NOT provide supervision for animals after normal business hours by a person physically on these premises."

     This language shall be printed in no less than 12-point font in an intake form and no less than 24-point font on a posted sign.

     (3)   (a)   A veterinarian overseeing the care of a domestic companion animal at a veterinary facility that does not provide domestic companion animals with supervision after normal business hours by a person physically on the premises shall be required to obtain a consent form signed by the owner of the domestic companion animal or the person bringing the animal to the veterinary facility for care or treatment.  The form shall include information on the frequency of injuries, both fatal and non-fatal, to domestic companion animals that occur as a result of unsupervised overnight care at the veterinary facility. 

     (b)   (i)    A veterinarian who fails to collect a consent form from the owner of the animal or the person bringing the animal to the veterinary facility for care or treatment shall not charge for any veterinary services rendered due to an injury to the animal that occurs as a result of unsupervised overnight care.

     (ii)   A veterinarian who fails to collect a consent form from the owner of the animal or the person bringing the animal to the veterinary facility for care or treatment shall be strictly liable for any injuries or death to the animal that occur as a result of unsupervised overnight care. 

     (iii)  Nothing in this paragraph (3) shall be deemed to grant immunity to any veterinarian who collects a consent form from the owner of an animal or the person bringing the animal to the veterinary facility for care or treatment.

      c.    As used in this section:

     "Domestic companion animal" means any animal commonly referred to as a "pet," which has been bought, bred, raised or otherwise acquired, in accordance with local ordinances and State and federal law, for the primary purpose of providing companionship to the owner, rather than for business or agricultural purposes.

     "Normal business hours" means the times posted at a veterinary facility indicating the hours that the veterinary facility is open for business with supervising staff available.

     "Veterinarian" means any person engaged in the licensed practice of veterinary medicine as defined by R.S.45:16-8.1.

     "Veterinary facility" means any place or establishment, operated on a for-profit basis, where a domestic companion animal, which is not owned by either the proprietor or care-giving veterinarian, is treated, temporarily sheltered, fed, and watered for veterinary care purposes. "Veterinary facility" may include an animal or veterinary facility as defined in section 1 of P.L.1983, c. 98 (C.45:16-1.1).

      d.   A veterinarian who fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of this section shall be subject to a public reprimand by the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and any other penalties the board imposes.

(cf: P.L. 2015, c.110, s.1)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect on the 90th day after the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires for-profit veterinary facilities that board domestic companion animals overnight without having a person physically present at the facility to obtain a signed consent form from the owner of the animal or the person bringing the animal to the veterinary facility for care or treatment.  The bill requires the consent form to include information about the frequency of injuries relating to the unsupervised overnight boarding of domestic companion animals at the facility.

     In addition, the bill provides that, in the event that a veterinary facility fails to collect the signed consent form from the owner of a domestic companion animal staying unsupervised overnight or from the person bringing the animal to the veterinary facility for care or treatment, the veterinarian will be strictly liable for any injury or death occurring as a result of the unsupervised overnight stay.  The bill also provides that the veterinarian may not charge for any veterinary services rendered due to an injury occurring from lack of overnight supervision. In addition, the bill provides that nothing in the bill shall be deemed to grant immunity to any veterinarian who collects a consent form from the owner of an animal or the person bringing the animal to the veterinary facility for care or treatment.

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