State of New Jersey
Executive Order #23

Governor James E. McGreevey

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey has an interest in the humane and proper treatment of animals; and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey has an interest in addressing the overpopulation of unwanted, abandoned and feral animals and in reducing the number of animals that are euthanized each year; and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey has an interest in preventing cruelty to animals and enforcing animal cruelty laws; and

WHEREAS, the State Commission of Investigation has found inadequacies with respect to the care and housing of unwanted and abandoned animals; and

WHEREAS, the State Commission of Investigation has found significant failures with respect to the enforcement of animal cruelty laws by the Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey has an interest in engaging the talents and expertise of capable individuals from throughout the State to address these important state interests;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES E. McGREEVEY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

    1. There is hereby established an Animal Welfare Task Force, herein referred to as the Task Force.

    2. The Task Force shall consist no more than 30 members appointed by the Governor. The members shall be selected from among individuals with knowledge or experience in the areas of animal treatment, population control and animal welfare. The Governor shall select the Chair.

    3. The Task Force shall do the following:

      a. Examine the current laws concerning animal abuse and neglect, animal population control, and animal welfare.

      b. Examine the manner in which the anti-cruelty laws are enforced throughout the State.

      c. Examine the status of population control and the animal shelter systems in the State.

      d. Recommend changes to the laws and regulations of this State so as protect the State's animals from inhumane treatment, improve the enforcement of anti-cruelty laws, and address the problem of unwanted, abandoned and euthanized animals in the State.

    4. The Task Force shall issue its report to the Governor, the Attorney General and the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Senior Services within 24 months of its initial meeting.

    5. The Task Force is authorized to call upon any department, office, division or agency of this State to supply it with records and other information, personnel or assistance it deems necessary to discharge its duties under this Order. Each department, officer, division or agency of this State is hereby required, to the extent not inconsistent with law, to cooperate with the Task Force and to furnish it with such records, information, personnel and assistance as is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Order.

    7. This Order shall take effect immediately.


GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 25th day of July in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Two, and of the Independence of the United States, the Two Hundred and Twenty-Seventh.

/s/ James E. McGreevey



/s/ Paul A. Levinsohn

Chief Counsel to the Governor