‘A bit like a mini-Mafia’: New Jersey law banning indoor rabbit houses in homes

New Jersey has joined five other states that have passed laws banning indoor cages for pets, in an effort to stem the spread of fleas, according to state officials.

The legislation, signed Monday by Gov.

Chris Christie, prohibits indoor rabbit homes, including those in hotels, nursing homes, day care centers and prisons, but it does not apply to privately owned pet homes.

New Jersey residents must notify the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) of their home when they adopt or rent an indoor rabbit house, which is legal in New Jersey.

It was not immediately clear how many people in New York and New Jersey had already been fined for their indoor rabbit-hutching.

In New York, which bans outdoor rabbit houses, fines have ranged from $25 to $500.

In addition to fines, the state also requires that anyone renting an indoor bunny-hut must notify DHHS of any new indoor rabbit owners and must maintain them in compliance with the law, according the Department of Buildings.

In response to the ban, New York City has been one of the first cities to adopt a plan that includes placing restrictions on the number of rabbits allowed to be housed outdoors and prohibiting the possession of rabbits for flea control.