Monday, September 26, 2022

Bill banning pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits passes New York Legislature

A bill banning the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits at pet stores in New York State has been passed by the state legislature and is awaiting the signature of Gov.

The bill, which passed the legislature this week, aims to fight rampant “puppy mill”-style breeding operations. However, the bill does not directly target these facilities—many of which exist outside of New York and thus outside the jurisdiction of New York state law. Instead, it focuses on pet stores, which primarily source their pets from such locations, according to animal welfare advocates and lawmakers who support the bill.

Maureen Linehan, spokeswoman for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty, said: “Right now, out-of-state puppy mills ship their puppies through a pipeline of middlemen to New York pet stores, where they are purchased as healthy puppies from responsible breeders. marketed in.” Animals said in an email to HuffPost.

The bill encourages pet stores to partner with shelters and rescue groups and use their retail locations to “showcase” animals for adoption.

New York’s bill aims to curb “puppy mill”-type breeders and encourage the adoption of homeless animals.

JoshBlake via Getty Images

New York law would not completely prohibit people from buying animals from breeders. It would still be legal for breeders to sell animals directly to potential pet owners; The law would only prohibit sales by third-party retailers such as pet stores.

The bill is supported by several animal advocacy groups, including the ASPCA, The Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and the New York State Animal Protection Federation.

However, the law has faced opposition from the pet retail industry as well as the American Kennel Club. The AKC regularly advocates for a ban on the sale of retail pets, arguing that the laws are “anti-breeder” and hurt consumers in the market for pets.

If signed, the law would ban New York pet stores from selling cats, dogs and rabbits, making it the latest of its kind in the US to be adopted statewide.
If signed, the law would ban New York pet stores from selling cats, dogs and rabbits, making it the latest of its kind in the US to be adopted statewide.

According to the ASPCA, New York State has the highest concentration of pet stores that sell puppies in the country. This makes the bill particularly important.

In 2017, California passed a law banning the sale of non-rescue cats, dogs and rabbits at pet stores. The states of Maryland, Maine, Illinois and Washington have since passed similar laws.

Additionally, many cities and towns across the country have locally banned retail pets. Prior to this bill, New York City had already banned pet stores from selling rabbits – though not cats and dogs – in part due to welfare issues for the long-eared animals. Some people mistakenly think of rabbits as low-maintenance “starter pets” when, in fact, they require highly specialized care.

Rabbits can be great household pets, but people often don't realize how much space, time and effort they require to thrive.
Rabbits can be great household pets, but people often don’t realize how much space, time and effort they require to thrive.

Simon Potter via Getty Images

One of the nation’s most widespread retail pet restrictions is in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where pet stores are prohibited from selling birds, reptiles, spiders, and small mammals such as hamsters and gerbils—unless an animal shelter or rescue group. do not come from The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals advocates the law, citing the poor conditions these animals often experience in high amounts of breeding work.

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