Advocate for Animals
The Lesniak Institute advocates for animal welfare, training the next generation of American Leaders to protect animals from cruelty and extinction.
Help us continue to advance animal welfare as The Lesniak Institute For American Leadership advocates for legislation to make New Jersey The Humane State and promote animal welfare across America and in every nation.
Help us continue to advance animal welfare by donating to our cause.
We’re working to ban pig gestation crates which create pain, fear, and stress to pigs--animals that form elaborate, cooperative social groups and feel pain, fear, and stress.
Banning Pig Gestation Crates with Bill, S3401/A5236 would establish that confinement of a pig or cow a disorderly persons offense. Cruel confinement is defined as tethering, confining, or creating a gestating sow in a manner that prevents her from turning around freely, laying down, standing up, or fully extending their limbs. The bill would ban farrowing crates which inhumanely separate a mother from her piglets. It will enforce that there is proper care and preparation for the sow ten days before she gives birth.
Animal cruelty has no place in a civilized society, but sadly it is still legal in New Jersey to confine a mother pig and veal calf in a crate so small they are unable to stand up, turn around, and take more than one step forward or backward. The Coalition to Ban the Crates proudly supports legislation (A5236/S3401) to ban the cruel confinement of mother pigs in gestation crates and newborn calves in veal crates. Similar legislation to outlaw gestation crates in prior sessions passed not once, but twice, overwhelmingly, only to be vetoed by then-Governor Christie, despite bipartisan backing by our state’s residents and lawmakers. Polling has shown that 93% of New Jersey voters support a ban on the extreme confinement of mother pigs. Ensuring that the cruel confinement of pigs and calves is prohibited in New Jersey is a matter of animal cruelty prevention, and also a proactive step in safeguarding public health and reflecting our state’s values.
The gestation crate ban, S3401/A5236, is awaiting a full Senate floor vote and action in the Assembly Judiciary Committee. New Jersey residents, contact your legislators and urge them to pass S3401/A5236 into law.
The Courtroom Animal Advocate Program (CAAP) will give a voice to abused animals by allowing law students and volunteer lawyers to serve as legal advocates for animals that are the victims of animal abuse.
Courtroom Animal Advocacy Programs (CAAP), S2868/A4533, allow lawyers and law students to be appointed by the court to be animal advocates in criminal cases regarding cruelty, dog fighting, and other animal welfare abuses. Animal representatives will be permitted to monitor the case, attend hearings, consult individuals with knowledge of the welfare of the animal, view records regarding the animal’s welfare, and present their recommendations to prosecutors and the court regarding the best interest of the animal.
Psychological studies indicate a strong link between animal abuse and future violent behavior. In fact, in the wake of mass shootings plaguing our country, one pivotal warning sign to look out for is animal abuse. Depending on how you parse the data, anywhere from 43% to 80% of school shooters started with animal cruelty. S2868 is legislation that would give a voice to the voiceless in animal cruelty cases. With this law prosecutors will have an additional resource to ensure animal abuse cases get the full attention of the court and will more likely result in action to achieve justice for the abused animal and appropriate punishment for animal abuser including rehabilitation before they reoffend, or extend their violence to humans.
Join The Movement
The Courtroom Animal Advocate Bill was approved by the full Senate on February 19, 2021, and awaits a vote in the Assembly Judiciary Committee. Contact your Assembly member and ask them to co-sponsor and support the legislation.
We are working to amend the Animal Welfare Act inorder to ban the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling performances.
Modeled after New Jersey’s Nosey’s law, the Traveling Exotic Animals and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA) is a Federal Bill that will amend the Animal Welfare Act to stop the inhumane treatment of exotic animals by restricting the use of exotic animals in traveling performances such as circuses, carnivals, and parades. Once enacted, the bill will minimize the abuse of exotic animals, remove safety risks not adequately addressed by current regulations, and save taxpayer money used for exotic animal related costs.
Exotic animals have wild needs and behaviors. They are not naturally suited for traveling performances, and suffer as a result of being unable to fulfill their instinctive natural behaviors. Meanwhile, abuses such as starvation, water restrictions, whipping, and electric shock devices, used to force animals to learn tricks are vial and unethical. Such treatment causes stress, behavioral and health problems that harm the animals, and endanger the workers and the audience of traveling performances.
Join The Movement
Write to NJ federal Senator, Bob Menendez to reintroduce TEASPA to save wild and exotic animals from the cruelty of performance acts.
We’re working to end bear hunting and implement non-lethal methods of bear management.
There are many opinions regarding the bear hunt, but it is undeniably a trophy hunt. Hunters justify the killing of bears as a necessary means of population control. Many of them believe that the bear population has grown too large this past decade, and that hunting is the only way to decrease human-bear conflict. Scientists on the other hand disagree, questioning the state’s methods used to quantify the population, and referencing recent studies showing no relationship between hunting and the reduction of human-bear conflict.
Petitioners are calling on the state Department of Environmental Protection to repeal of rules permitting black bear hunting along with the corresponding Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy. NJ’s supervision of the bear hunt has undermined a supreme court ruling allowing for deadly disease to spread between animals and humans, created an increase of bears appearing in residential neighborhoods, and conflicts with the public’s large opposition of recreational trophy hunting. Due to poor comprehensive bear hunt management NJ tax payers have suffered.
Bear hunts do not reduce human-bear conflict, and are no more than trophy hunts, spilling blood of innocent creatures for pleasure. As it stands, the current status of the bear hunt also fails to meet the requirements set by the New Jersey Supreme Court to keep NJ’s neighborhoods safe from disease. Hunting creates an increase in opportunity for animal–human interactions and can even be attributed to facilitating zoonotic disease transmission. The widely used practice of bating promotes bears to congregate at designated locations, raising the risk of disease introduction, and spillover into other wildlife species, domestic livestock, and humans. Baiting related diseases like Bovine Tuberculosis and Chronic Wasting Disease, have cost affected states hundreds of millions of dollars in direct costs over the past decade. It is possible to live in harmony and co-exist peacefully with bears, and that calls for more effective trash management, and bear-smart policies, not more killing.
Join The Movement
Sign the petition to support the repeal of rules permitting the black bear hunt.
We are working to shut down NJ Puppy Mills doing business in New Jersey - those driven solely by greed and which care little about the welfare of the dogs and cats they sell - or the loving pet owners they sell them to.
Banning puppy mills is a push to revise the “Pet Purchase Protection Act,” signed into effect in 2015, to prohibit the retail sale of animals from puppy mills. Legislation would require pet stores to disclose the origins of the dogs and cats they sell, and would bar animal rescue organizations, shelters and pounds from obtaining cats or dogs from breeders or brokers in exchange for payment or compensation. We are asking NJ legislature to put an end to the inhumane treatment of animals by adopting policies that better monitor and restrict the sources of cats and dogs sold by pet dealers in New Jersey.
Puppy Mills are large-scale commercial establishments that breed dogs to sell typically on an intensive basis and in inhumane conditions. Dogs and cats are bred in conditions that maximize profit without consideration of the wellbeing of the animals, often producing dogs and cats with heredity defects. These animals are then sold at pet stores, afflicted with serious psychological or health problems. Some of the many illnesses include zoonotic diseases which can be spread to other pets and humans. Many of these animals end up homeless or euthanized because of the health issues, much like the faith of the animals which weren’t sold. Banning Puppy Mills will significantly reduce the amount of sick, homeless, and euthanized dogs/cats in NJ.
Join The Movement
Urge your legislators to introduce a bill to ban the retail sale of animals from unregulated rescue agencies.