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Bill Is Not Nice To Rats And Mice

Wed., March 20, 1996, midnight

Angered by an animal welfare group’s attempt to prosecute a man for bashing a rat to death in his garden, the state Senate unanimously voted to repeal rats’ rights.

It approved legislation Monday that would exclude rats and mice from protection under the state’s animal cruelty laws.

“Finally, the people get a victory over the rats,” said Sen. Wynona Lipman, the bill’s sponsor. The legislation now goes to the Assembly, which has already let it die once.

She introduced the bill after the Newark-based Associated Humane Societies pressed charges against a Hillside man for killing a rat that had been eating tomatoes in his back yard in 1994.

Charges later were dropped against Frank Balun, who said he killed the rat because he feared it would bite his grandchildren.

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