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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
April 21, 2005

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Marilyn Riley
(609) 984-7160

Department of Health and Senior Services Proposes to Readopt with Amendments N.J.A.C. 8:23, the Rules Governing Various Animal Issues


TRENTON -- The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services is proposing to readopt the rules at N.J.A.C. 8:23, which provide measures to prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases.  These are diseases that may be transmitted from animals to humans, including rabies, avian chlamydiosis (psittacosis), and Salmonella.

These rules also establish health requirements for dogs imported into the state and procedures for the transportation of animals by animal control officers.  The department is proposing technical amendments throughout the chapter.  In addition, the department is proposing substantive amendments as described below.

The department proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 8:23-1.2 to specifically identify animal control officers as among those obligated to report animal rabies cases to the local health agency.  Rapid and accurate notification is essential so that specimens for rabies testing are submitted properly, people and domestic animals exposed to rabies are identified and human rabies post-exposure prophylaxis is administered, if needed.  The department proposes to delete reference to notification via telegraph, and to authorize notification via facsimile and electronic mail, to recognize modern communication methods.

The department proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 8:23-1.4 to delete the phrase “of the psittacine family” from the heading and rule text, to make the requirements of this section applicable to dealers in all types of pet birds.  This will enhance the protection of the public from the disease because all pet birds are susceptible to psittacosis and can transmit the disease to humans and other birds.

N.J.A.C. 8:23-1.6 was enacted prior to 1969, and describes the herd testing program.  The section prohibits the sale of milk from dairy animals unless the animals are free from brucellosis.

The department has reviewed this rule and determined that it is redundant of other more specific and more appropriately located rules requiring brucellosis testing of dairy herds and prohibiting the sale of milk from dairy herds not proven free from brucellosis.  These other rules are N.J.A.C. 8:21-10 in the department’s Food and Drugs rules relating to milk products and N.J.A.C. 2:2-2 in the Department of Agriculture’s Disease Control Program rules relating to bovine brucellosis control and eradication.  As these other rules address more appropriately the prevention of brucellosis in dairy herds, and the requirement of testing as a condition of the pasteurization and sale of milk to the public, the department has determined to repeal N.J.A.C. 8:23-1.6.

The department initially adopted N.J.A.C. 8:23-2 in 1972.  The subchapter provides requirements relating to the sale or distribution of live turtles, to prevent the spread of turtle-borne salmonellosis.  The department is proposing to amend the subchapter to reflect and incorporate the FDA’s 1975 ban on the sale of viable turtle eggs and live turtles of carapace (shell) length of under four inches.

The department promulgated N.J.A.C. 8:23-3 in 2000 to standardize the requirements for the transportation of animals by municipally appointed certified animal control officers pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.16b, regardless of whether the municipal animal control officer is affiliated with a licensed animal facility.  N.J.A.C. 8:23A-1 applies to certain licensed animal facilities, but not to municipally appointed animal control officers who are unaffiliated with particular licensed facilities.

The proposal appears in the April 18, 2005 issue of the New Jersey Register.  The public has until June 17, 2005 to comment on the proposal.  Persons wishing to comment on the proposal must submit their comments in writing to Colin T. Campbell, D.V.M., Senior Public Health Veterinarian, Infectious and Zoonotic Disease Program, Communicable Disease Service, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, 3635 Quakerbridge Road, P O Box 369, Trenton, NJ 08625-0369.  Written comments must be postmarked on or before June 17, 2005, which is the close of the 60-day public comment period.

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