The New York City Council unanimously voted to override former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto and create an animal abuse registry similar to that of sex offenders.
“This is a huge win for animals in New York City,” said Council Member Vallone, who sponsored the legislation. “I hope that this action moves other cities to adopt similar legislation."
Under the bill’s provisions, a conviction for animal fighting, abandonment, aggravated cruelty and failure to provide proper sustenance would land an individual on the registry. Anyone convicted of animal abuse will remain on the registry for five years following their first offense, and ten years for any subsequent convictions.
Animal activist groups were extremely pleased with the outcome.
“[The legislation is] a strong step to protect animals from harm,” said Chris Green, director of legislative affairs at the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Keeping defenseless animals out of the hands of convicted abusers addresses the problem at its source."
“This is the first step in building a more humane NYC. We look forward to keeping the momentum going by banning the sale of puppy mill dogs, protecting a tenant's right to have a pet, and ending the inhumane carriage horse industry," said Allie Feldman, Executive Director of NYCLASS. "We are grateful for the new Administration's humane outlook."
New York City is the largest jurisdiction to ever approve such a registry. In addition to creating a list of offenders, entities that sell or adopt out pets, such as animal shelters, pet shops, veterinarians, and duly incorporated animal rescues would be required to cross reference the registry before transferring any animal.
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