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Advancing Animal Welfare through the Legislative Process in New Jersey

Advancing Animal Welfare through the Legislative Process in New Jersey

Brian Hackett, New Jersey State Director for the Humane Society of the United States

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One of the key ways to help animals is to lobby for them in the halls of our state legislature -- better laws to protect animals and advance their welfare are integral to preventing cruelty. In this presentation, learn about what key laws NJ has passed and which ones are on the docket for consideration this year and hear how and why your organization should position itself as a resource center for the community on a variety of animal issues. Your shelter or rescue can be a voice for the voiceless in the legislative process and can help achieve extraordinary successes for animals.

Note: This course has been pre-approved for Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credits.

As New Jersey State Director for the Humane Society of the United States, the largest animal protection organization in the country, Brian Hackett has worked to advance the organization’s animal protection priorities on the state level. Working on all levels of government—local, county, and in Trenton at the Capitol—Hackett has placed an emphasis on effective collaboration with many different stakeholders to advance policies better protecting animals. On the local level, he has played a leading role in advancing the most local anti-puppy mill measures of any state in the nation, with 116 NJ municipalities and 9 counties recognizing the problem puppy mills pose to consumers and animals. A key priority is protection of our nation’s millions of community cats, so Hackett has worked to advance support for humane management through Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) policies with our counties and municipalities.

On the state level, Hackett has continued and build lasting relationships with key legislators in Trenton, who have either passed or introduced a plethora of bills on puppy mills, humane law enforcement reform, strengthening animal cruelty penalties, ending circus cruelty, banning the shark fin sales trade, and cutting off NJ markets to animal trophies. With NJ’s two-year contiguous legislative session, he is actively lobbying Trenton throughout the year, testifying and representing animals and their advocates in committee testimony, policy meetings, grassroots organizing, and coalition building.

Hackett is a magna cum laude graduate of The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science with a concentration in public policy management. Prior to joining HSUS as state director, Hackett was a political campaign operative and strategized for a number of campaigns on the local, state, and national levels. He briefly served in local government as a town council member before joining HSUS and moving to Burlington County, where he currently resides.

Questions? Contact Matt Wildman, [email protected]


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