Legislation banning pet shops in the state of New York from selling the animals will come into force from December 2024.
New York State is set to introduce legislation that will ban pet shops from selling dogs, cats and rabbits.
The new ban, which will come into force on December 2024, was designed to reduce the sale of animals from commercial breeders, with such facilities having been described as ‘inhumane’.
New York will join other states including California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, and Washington in cracking down on the sale of animals from kitten and puppy mills.
According to proponents of the bill, the rules should reduce animal suffering by cutting the number of animals sold by commercial breeders.
Animal advocates argue that the conditions under which such animals are reared are often inadequate, causing a slew of welfare and health issues.
The law was signed by Governor Kathy Hochul, who said: “Dogs, cats, and rabbits across New York deserve loving homes and humane treatment. I’m proud to sign this legislation, which will make meaningful steps to cut down on harsh treatment and protect the welfare of animals across the state.”
Pet shop clash
While the bill enjoyed bipartisan support, it has been criticised by some who say it will put pet shops in the state out of business, and potentially lead to a black market in people buying animals.
People United to Protect Pet Integrity (PUPPI), a coalition of pet shop owners, also argued out-of-state breeding facilities would not be shut down as a result of the state-wide ban.
In a statement to the New York Times, Jessica Selmer, the president of PUPPI, said: “By ending licensed and regulated local pet stores, you will remove the people who vet breeders, insure the health of newly homed pets with established veterinarians, and guarantee the success of a new pet family.”
‘Countless animals won’t be sold at pet shops’
However, others reacted positively to the news, with animal rights charity PETA saying: “New York’s Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill has been signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul, and countless cats, dogs, and rabbits won’t be bred and sold at pet shops as a result.
“This bill will also greatly reduce the importation of animals from out-of-state breeding facilities, where they’re typically kept in inhumane conditions and denied socialization, exercise, and even basic veterinary care.”
Meanwhile, State Senator Michael Gianaris, who sponsored the legislation, said: “These animals are living, loving beings who should be treated with respect, and not like a can of soup to be plucked off a shelf.
“This law will save countless animals from abuse at the hands of horrid puppy mills and I’m thrilled it is now enacted.”
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