The New York state Senate on Tuesday passed a series of legislation aimed to protect animals and the sale and treatment of pets.

If enacted into law, the bills would:

  • strengthen enforcement efforts of the state's anti-slaughter of racehorses and racehorse breeding stock law by requiring the posting of signage that states it is illegal to sell or transfer such animals for the purposes of slaughter at all racehorse auctions
  • restrict the practice of surgical devocalization procedures on dogs and cats to medical necessity
  • require that any landlords or lessors inspect the property for any abandoned animals within three days of a property being vacated and notify the proper authorities
  • eliminate the word “serious” from the “serious physical injury” language of the Agriculture and Markets law, in relation to aggravated cruelty to animals, to ensure that someone attempting to physically harm an animal is appropriately penalized, even if the assault is not successful and the animal makes a full recovery
  • remove the provision that provides that any term of imprisonment for a violation of aggravated cruelty to animals may not exceed two years
  • add certain wild or exotic animals to the list of non-companion animals and would prohibit such animals from being imported, sold or owned
  • ban the importation, transportation and possession of certain African wildlife species and products
  • enhance New York’s animal cruelty laws to further deter individuals from engaging in animal fighting and other harmful practices

"It’s our responsibility to protect and defend the voiceless, and that includes our cherished pets and animals," state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in a statement. "I am very proud of the examples we are setting for animal welfare to prevent cruelty and abuse. I commend the sponsors of this bill package for their dedication to clarifying laws and bolstering protections against cruelty.”

The legislative package coincides with Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month.


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