Today’s strange law comes all the way from New York, and involves animals (I promise all of my #janlawblogpost posts won’t involve animals!).
So.. New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill back in December 2014 (which took effect 120 days later) which increased the protection of pets across New York State, but in a way you may not think! This bill (A.739-D/S.6769-C) prohibits the unnecessary piercing and tattooing of dogs, cats, and other pets for purely cosseting purposes for the pleasure of the owner (except in limited circumstances) and any one that breaches this law will be subject to criminal penalties. This is because there is a need to protect animals from harm – though I am not sure if it is an American thing, but I have never seen a pet tattoo or pierced for cosmetic purposes!
The sentencing guidelines for a violation of this law are a fine not to exceed $250 and/or imprisonment not to exceed 15 days. Governor Cuomo said, “This is animal abuse, pure and simple … I’m proud to sign this common sense legislation and end these cruel and unacceptable practices in New York once and for all.”
There was a lot of support for this bill, so it must have been quite a severe problem in New York, and Senator Tob Libous said, “Subjecting animals to body piercing or tattooing is unconscionable and cruel. Animals can’t speak out against undergoing a painful procedure like piercing or tattooing – I’m glad we’re standing up for them and banning this heartless practice.”
Another person in support of this was Assembly Member, Linda B. Rosenthal, who said, “While people can decide whether they would like to undergo the pain associated with a tattoo or piercing, animals do not have that luxury. Subjecting animals to painful cosmetic procedures, such as tattooing and piercing, merely to satisfy an individual’s misguided and selfish aesthetic predilections, is inhumane and should be considered cruelty by the law. I am pleased that the Governor signed my bill into law; doing so sends a strong message that this kind of behavior constitutes animal abuse and that it will not be tolerated.”
Let me know what you think on this – if it was such a problem as it seems I am glad there is this law in place, it just seems absurd that people would do these things to pets for cosmetic reasons!