TRENTON, N.J. (May 20, 2008) — The New Jersey Assembly has approved a bill that will save countless animal lives and reduce the number of childhood emergencies with the passage today of A. 1577 by an overwhelming vote of 80-0.
The bill, which requires an aversive agent be added to antifreeze products, was championed by Assemblymember Neil Cohen (D, 20). Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D, 1) has introduced similar legislation, S. 979, in the New Jersey Senate. The bills are supported by the Humane Society Legislative Fund and The Humane Society of the United States.
"Poisoning occurs with this product because it is often inadvertently spilled in our driveways or left in open containers in our garages," said Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. "Six other states have passed some version of this animal and human safety bill and we urge the New Jersey Senate to raise that number to seven."
The bill would require that engine coolant/antifreeze that is more that 10 percent ethylene glycol must also contain denatonium benzoate, the world's bitterest known substance, to render it unpalatable. Hundreds of children and thousands of animals, including companion animals and endangered species, are accidentally poisoned each year from ingesting antifreeze. Its sweet taste attracts them, but less than a teaspoon can be fatal. One survey found that two out of three veterinarians see at least one accidental ethylene glycol poisoning each year.
Media contact: Martin Montorfano: 301-258-3152
The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. On the web at www.hslf.org.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.