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New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Huntingdon Life Sciences

October 31, 2007

NEW JERSEY SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
HUNTINGDON LIFE SCIENCES, INC., DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, L-24-06.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued October 9, 2007

Before Judges Weissbard, Gilroy and Baxter.

Plaintiff, New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NJSPCA), appeals from an order dismissing five counts of its complaint against defendant Huntingdon Life Sciences, Inc.*fn1 (HLS). We affirm.

On January 17, 2006, plaintiff filed an amended complaint containing fifty counts. The complaint contained allegations pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:22-26, which sets out a lengthy series of acts constituting animal cruelty and authorizes plaintiff to sue for and recover designated statutory penalties. The statute, N.J.S.A. 4:22-32, further provides that the penalties may be enforced and collected in a summary manner pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10. The jurisdiction for such an action lies in either the Superior Court or the Municipal Court of the municipality where defendant resides or where the offense was committed.

N.J.S.A. 4:22-29.

The amended complaint alleged that defendant possessed a large number of animals, estimated at 6-10,000, which were used for the testing of products intended for human consumption. It was alleged that in March 1998 the United States Department of Agriculture instituted an administrative enforcement action against defendant for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C.A. § 2131, resulting in a Consent Decree in April, 1998.

The first count alleged that defendant's employees had been negligent in the performance of their job functions, resulting in the infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering on defendant's animals, and sought the following relief:

(a) a decree requiring Defendant to implement an effective employee hiring and training plan-developed and approved in conjunction with Plaintiff NJSPCA;

(b) a decree restraining animal testing until an effective employee hiring and training plan is implemented;

(c) a decree appointing a NJSPCA representative to oversee Defendant's compliance with any Court Order and backed by subpoena power;

(d) a decree ordering restitution of all profits gained from the improper animal testing and failure to properly ...


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