June 5, 2014

Suffolk County passes law aimed at 'puppy mills'

Under the new law Sponsored by Legis. Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), pet stores will not be able to purchase animals from breeders who have received certain types of violations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates breeders. It will also require them to adhere to a set of health and safety standards for the pets they purchased (and will later sell to the general public)

In other part of the country, some municipalities have chosen to ban completely the sale of pets in pet stores.
Which solution in your opinion could bring the best results for everybody involved (animals, pet stores and consumers): a complete ban or better regulating the provenance of pets in pet stores?

To see more on the story, click here.

May 6, 2014

Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act

This week, Representative Jim Moran introduced a Bill to Congress with the stated purpose of amending the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and non-domesticated animals in traveling circuses and exhibitions.

Do you think that this proposed law is a good idea? Why or why not?

By eliminating exotic animals from circuses, would that prevent some people from ever seeing these animals if they have no access to zoos?

Do you think there is any justification for keeping exotic animals in circuses?

Link to the Bill: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr4525/text

April 15, 2014

Should Pets Have the Same Legal Rights as People?

This week David Grimm discusses the legal status of animals in the Wall Street Journal.
Animals have historically been viewed as Property but as many Americans now consider their pets as a human member of the family, Courts have begun to treat them more like people. But this doesn't come without serious legal implications and not everybody agrees with this new trend.

What do you think, should Pets have the same legal rights as People?

Here is the link to the article http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304058204579491630809550504?mg=reno64-wsj

April 3, 2014

Coalition Files Federal Lawsuit to Overturn Controversial Idaho Ag Gag Law

A coalition of organizations and journalists filed a federal lawsuit in March in an effort to overturn Idaho's recently passed "Ag Gag" law. The law was signed by Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter on February 28, 2014. "Ag Gag" laws seek to criminalize whistle-blowing on factory farms. The law passed in Idaho makes it a crime for anyone to film or record on an agricultural operation without permission. If convicted, they face up to one year in jail, which is double the maximum penalty for animal cruelty, or a $5000 fine.

Members of the coalition who filed the federal lawsuit include the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the law. The coalition is arguing that it violates freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Professor Erwin Chemerinksy, constitutional law expert and dean at the University of California, has weighed in on the Idaho law, stating "The Idaho law is deeply distressing because it is aimed entirely at protecting an industry, especially in its worst practices that endanger people, at the expense of freedom of speech. It even would criminalize a whistle-blower who took a picture or video of wrongdoing in the workplace. I am confident that this law will be struck down under Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court precedents."

"Ag Gag" laws prevent the exposure of animal cruelty, food safety issues, poor working conditions, and environmental issues at factory farms. They specifically target undercover animal advocates. Idaho is the seventh state to pass an "Ag Gag" law, and the first to do so since 2012.

To view the complaint filed by the coalition, click here


In New York, "Ag Gag" bills were introduced in 2011 and 2012, but both died during the legislative process. What are your thoughts on "Ag Gag" laws?

January 17, 2014

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation to Strengthen Oversight of Pet Dealers in New York State

On January 9th, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill that enables local municipalities to enact and enforce their own laws governing commercial dog breeding facilities.
To see the press release, click here.

September 12, 2013

USDA Restores Important Check and Balance on Retail Pet Sales to Ensure Health, Humane Treatment

The rule would bring dog owners who breed more than four females and sell the puppies online, by mail or over the phone under federal oversight .
To see the USDA News Release click here: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2013/09/retail_pet_final_rule.shtml

June 25, 2013

Senate passes "pet lemon law"

The State Senate passed a bill that would allow consumers more protections when purchasing a pet. The bill (S.3723B), sponsored by Senator John Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport), would provide consumers with more information about the origins of their pet, and more protections should their pet become ill, under what is known as the "pet lemon law."
To see the full article see: http://www.empirestatenews.net/News/20130613-5.html

June 12, 2013

ASPCA to Collaborate with New York Attorney General on Animal Protection Initiative

The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has announced that it will be working with the New York State Office of the Attorney General on its new Animal Protection Initiative, providing critical training and support for investigating and prosecuting large scale animal cruelty and fighting cases in New York State.

To read the full story see: http://www.heraldonline.com/2013/06/06/4925771/aspca-to-collaborate-with-new.html

March 26, 2013

NY State senators pass bill to toughen penalty for killing police animals

The NY state senate has passed a bill co-sponsored by Senator James Seward that would toughen punishment for people who kill or injure police animals. The bill would increase the penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony. The legislation now goes to the state assembly for consideration.

There has been renewed interest in the bill following the shooting death of FBI police dog Ape during a raid on a barricaded gunman.
According to Seward, "we owe a great debt of gratitude to the police and others who responded to the multiple scenes, put their lives on the line, and sacrificed to protect us all and that includes K-9 officer Ape"
What do you think?

Please see: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/03/state_senators_pass_bill_to_to.html

February 6, 2013

Austin court allows implementation of Texas "puppy mill" law

The Dog or Cat Breeders Act, passed by the Legislature in 2011 and implemented Sept. 1, 2012, requires commercial dog and cat breeders to be licensed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations, to submit to a pre-licensing inspection and provide minimum standards of care, or face fines.
A federal court Thursday rejected a motion by the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance (representing 305 American Kennel Club groups in Texas),to block the law from going into effect.

Proponents of the bill intend to prevent puppy mills, and argue that the law hasn't gone far enough to safeguard animals from disreputable breeders. They are calling on lawmakers to further increase the standards for care such as requiring minimum cage sizes and prohibiting cage stacking.

Opponents of the bill argue that the law is too vague and will only drive good breeders out of business.

For more info see: http://www.texastribune.org/2013/02/01/after-court-ruling-continued-battle-over-cat-and-d/

What do you think?