How to Investigate Animal Cruelty in NY State – A Manual of Procedures

Article 11

§ 11-1101. Prohibitions

  1. Except as provided in title 5 or in sections 11-1901 or 11-1903, no wild bird shall be trapped, netted or snared, or if so taken, possessed.
  2. (Note that there are other prohibitions, but this is the one in which we are interested.)

NYSHA’s notes on Section 11-1101

  1. The concept of wild bird applies to all wild birds, whether protected or not, therefore, Rock Doves (pigeons) would be included in this section.
  2. Pigeons are netted by hunting clubs for the purposes of release as live targets. This practice is in violation of this section of the Environmental Conservation Law.
  3. The exception with reference to title 5, section 11-0513, 2, is as follows: “Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the local legislative body of any city, town or village, or in the city of New York the Department of Health may take or issue a permit to any person to take pigeons at any time and in any humane manner in such municipality, whenever such body or administration finds that pigeons within such municipality are or may become a menace to public health or a public nuisance; provided, however, that no pigeon may be taken in a manner which will endanger other animal life, persons or property.
  4. The exception with reference to sections 11-1901 or 11-1903 above applies to shooting preserves where wild birds (that are unprotected by the endangered species act) are deemed to be disturbing domestic game. Those unprotected birds may be taken in any manner.

Additional laws to consider:
With reference to trapping birds, Section 11-1101 above, See Article 26 Section 353, which deals with causing and permitting suffering of animals. If any of the birds were injured while being netted, or not provided with sustenance, food or water, you can charge the person with a violation of Section 353 for causing animal suffering.

§ 11-2117. Damage to property, livestock or domestic fowl by hunters and fishermen

No person, for the purpose of or while hunting, trapping or fishing shall, without the permission of the owner, lessee or lawful occupant, enter upon the land of another and while thereon kill or injure any dog, livestock or domestic fowl or cut, destroy or damage any bars, gates or fence of any part thereof, or deface or damage any vehicle, farm equipment, buildings or appurtenances to the land, resulting in damage to the owner or occupant of the land or of the dog, livestock, domestic fowl, bars, gates, fences, vehicles, equipment, buildings or appurtenances to the land.