New York Legislation to Protect Animals

Please use your voice to support/oppose new  legislative bills by contacting your representatives in the New York State Legislature.

2018 State Legislation Update

NYSHA plans an active spring advocating for numerous animal protection bills in the NYS Legislature. We have listed the bills which we hope you will review and support by contacting the legislators representing your district to express your backing. You can find the text for bills on the NY Assembly website:

  • A04904/S00621 – Makes it mandatory for veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty
  • A00595A/S3376A – Prohibits the declawing of cats
  • A02126/S01389 — Restricts surgical devocalization of dogs and cats
  • A00072/S06784 – Relates to improving the standards of care for pet dealers/breeders
  • A04012 and S5846A – Prohibits the slaughter of horses for human consumption
  • A04167/S06910 — Establishes a commission to protect retired racehorses
  • A04220 and S2473A — Creates the responsible retirement of racehorses fund
  • A08851/S07375 – Clarifies definition of felony cruelty
  • A00062A/S04796A – Clarifies the court location of the security bond hearing
  • A00668/S02167 – Expands order of protection relating to animals
  • A00284B/S05146B – Requires licensing and regulations for pet groomers

Let us all do our best to improve the lives of the animals in NYS by being active in Albany. Again, please call, email, and write letters to your legislators letting them know you want this legislation passed and signed by the Governor.

Good News for Mourning Doves in NY

NYSHA and others who strongly oppose the hunting of mourning doves – including all of you who contacted bill sponsor NY Senator Thomas F. O’Mara – had an impact that resulted in his pulling the bill (S.7202) off the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee agenda. The bill, which would have included the mourning dove in the definition of “migratory game bird” and allowed for their “taking,” is still is active and we will continue to monitor it.

Mourning doves are not only loved by bird watchers, but they are also revered as a symbol of peace and have a spiritual connection for many throughout the state, across the country, and around the world. They are not viewed as a food source by most New Yorkers, and in fact they are small and, have very little “edible” flesh on their bodies. Thus killing them is not necessary for the health, safety or wellbeing of the people of this state.
Mourning doves are ground-feeders who usually reside along with many protected songbirds such as cardinals, juncos, and blue jays. Shooting doves requires the use of buckshot, which will also result in the killing and maiming of these and many other protected birds.

Shooting of mourning doves would in fact lead to a substantial increase in toxic lead shot discharged into the environment. Cumulative lead deposits pose a significant risk to other ground-feeding birds as well as to other wildlife that directly and indirectly ingest toxic shot. That includes protected birds of prey such as eagles, falcons, hawks, and owls, for whom mourning doves are an important source of food. 1/10/2018

Your Help is Important

Please help NYSHA be a strong voice for animals by ensuring that all our representatives make animal protection a priority. Educate yourself, know the issues, follow legislative activities, attend advocacy days, make phone calls, write letters, and keep fighting! We see growing support from our state legislators; however, much more work needs to be done.

We will keep you posted via email and Facebook notifications regarding activity on important animal related issues.

2017 Legislation Information

NYSHA’s Legislation Committee worked hard this year on bills that would help to improve conditions for animals in New York. We are disappointed that once again the State Legislature failed to act on many important issues; however, they did pass two noteworthy bills we supported.

The first piece of legislation, which Governor Cuomo has signed into law, will further crack down on animal fighting by defining it as a designated offense that qualifies for electronic eavesdropping or video surveillance. This critical measure will enhance law enforcement efforts to identify these heinous operations and bring perpetrators to justice. (S.0611/A.2806)

Very good news! The other bill, known as the Elephant Protection Act, will ban the use of elephants in any type of entertainment act in New York State. We are happy to report that Governor Cuomo signed this bill in October. Previously in 2014, Governor Cuomo had signed a law to prevent the trade of illegal ivory articles and products. Now, one of the world’s most majestic creatures will be further protected in New York. (S.2098B/A.0464B)

Despite these two important victories, some very important proposals were not acted upon:

  • NYSHA continued advocating for banning the transport and slaughter of equines for human consumption, and for a bill that would create a dedicated fund to support retired race horses.
  • NYSHA also fought to end abusive and cruel practices impacting companion animals by supporting a ban on the declawing of cats, as well as a measure that would have mandated that veterinarians report suspected abuse to authorities.

Equine and companion animal protection will again be top priorities when our elected officials return to Albany in January.

We will keep you posted via email and Facebook notifications regarding activity on important animal related issues.

Fall 2017