senate Bill S6167A

Amended

Restricts the performance of surgical devocalization procedures on dogs and cats

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO AGRICULTURE
  • 23 / Mar / 2012
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO AGRICULTURE
  • 23 / Mar / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 6167A
  • 18 / May / 2012
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO AGRICULTURE
  • 18 / May / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 6167B
  • 04 / Jun / 2012
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO AGRICULTURE
  • 04 / Jun / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 6167C

Summary

Restricts the performance of surgical devocalization procedures on dogs and cats.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S6167
S6167A
S6167B
S6167C
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Agriculture
Law Section:
Agriculture and Markets Law
Laws Affected:
Add §365-a, Ag & Mkts L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: A3431A, A3431D
2009-2010: A11684

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6167A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to restricting the
performance of surgical devocalization procedures on dogs and cats

PURPOSE OF THE BILL:
This bill will prohibit the devocalization of dogs and cats unless
there is medical condition that requires the procedure.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill creates section 365-a in the agriculture and
markets law that prohibits the devocalization of cats and dogs unless
medically necessary.

Subsection two of the bill relates to circumstances where
devocalization surgery is allowed including treatment or relief from
a physical illness, disease or injury.

Subsection three of the bill relates to the record keeping regarding
the procedure with the New York State department of agriculture and
markets.

Subsection four of this bill relates to prohibiting the sale of a dog
or cat that has been surgically devocalized unless the buyer receives
a written notice of the surgery.

Subsection five of this bill relates to the definition of
devocalization.

Subsection six of this bill relates to the penalties associated with
the violation of section 365-a.

Section 2 of the bill allows the commissioner of agriculture and
markets and the commissioner of education to promulgate rules and
regulations to enforce this section.

JUSTIFICATION:
The devocalization of animals is an invasive procedure that involves
the surgical removal of a dog or cat's vocal cords.

This procedure often leads to serious and long term respiratory and
throat ailments. It silences the dog or cat and prevents
communication between other animals and their owners.

This bill will outlaw "convenience" devocalization and restrict the
invasive surgery for cases where it is medically necessary to treat
or relieve an illness or injury.

An October 2010 AP poll surveyed over 1,040 pet owners nationwide and
found that 90% think it is "not okay" to devocalize a dog or cat.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
None.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall become
law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 6167--A

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             January 9, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. ZELDIN, GRISANTI, KRUEGER, SERRANO -- read twice and
  ordered  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on
  Agriculture -- committee discharged, bill amended,  ordered  reprinted
  as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN  ACT  to  amend  the  agriculture  and  markets  law,  in relation to
  restricting the performance of surgical devocalization  procedures  on
  dogs and cats

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a  new
section 365-a to read as follows:
  S  365-A.  DEVOCALIZATION  OF  ANIMALS. 1. NO PERSON SHALL PERFORM THE
SURGICAL DEVOCALIZATION OF A DOG OR CAT EXCEPT IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION.
  2.  A. SURGICAL DEVOCALIZATION OF A DOG OR CAT SHALL BE PERFORMED ONLY
BY A  PERSON  LICENSED  AS  A  VETERINARIAN  IN  THIS  STATE  UNDER  THE
PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-FIVE OF THE EDUCATION LAW.
  B.  SURGICAL DEVOCALIZATION OF A DOG OR CAT MAY BE PERFORMED ONLY WHEN
THE PROCEDURE IS MEDICALLY NECESSARY TO  TREAT  OR  RELIEVE  A  PHYSICAL
ILLNESS,  DISEASE OR INJURY OR CORRECT A CONGENITAL ABNORMALITY SUFFERED
BY THE ANIMAL, WHICH PHYSICAL ILLNESS,  DISEASE,  INJURY  OR  CONGENITAL
ABNORMALITY  IS CAUSING OR MAY REASONABLY CAUSE THE ANIMAL PHYSICAL PAIN
OR HARM.
  3. A. ANY PERSON WHO PERFORMS A SURGICAL DEVOCALIZATION PROCEDURE ON A
DOG OR CAT SHALL PREPARE  A  RECORD  OF  THE  PROCEDURE  CONTAINING  THE
FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
  (1) THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE ANIMAL'S OWNER;
  (2)  THE  NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE PERSON FROM WHOM PAYMENT IS RECEIVED
FOR THE PROCEDURE;
  (3) A DESCRIPTION OF THE ANIMAL, INCLUDING ITS NAME,  SPECIES,  BREED,
DATE OF BIRTH, SEX, COLOR, MARKINGS AND CURRENT WEIGHT;
  (4)  THE  LICENSE  NUMBER AND MUNICIPALITY THAT ISSUED THE LICENSE FOR
THE ANIMAL;
  (5) THE DATE AND TIME OF THE PROCEDURE;

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00518-09-2

S. 6167--A                          2

  (6) THE REASON THE PROCEDURE WAS PERFORMED; AND
  (7)  ANY  DIAGNOSTIC  OPINION, ANALYSIS OR TEST RESULTS TO SUPPORT THE
DIAGNOSIS.
  B. AFTER PERFORMING A SURGICAL DEVOCALIZATION PROCEDURE ON  A  DOG  OR
CAT,  THE PERSON PERFORMING THE PROCEDURE SHALL FILE WITH THE DEPARTMENT
A COPY OF THE RECORD SPECIFIED  IN  PARAGRAPH  A  OF  THIS  SUBDIVISION,
TOGETHER  WITH  A  WRITTEN  STATEMENT  DECLARING  THAT  THE PROCEDURE IS
MEDICALLY NECESSARY TO TREAT OR RELIEVE A PHYSICAL ILLNESS,  DISEASE  OR
INJURY OR CORRECT A CONGENITAL ABNORMALITY SUFFERED BY THE ANIMAL, WHICH
PHYSICAL  ILLNESS,  DISEASE, INJURY OR CONGENITAL ABNORMALITY IS CAUSING
OR MAY REASONABLY CAUSE THE ANIMAL PHYSICAL PAIN OR HARM.
  C. THE RECORD REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH A OF  THIS  SUBDIVISION  SHALL  BE
RETAINED  BY  THE  PERSON  PERFORMING THE PROCEDURE FOR A PERIOD OF FOUR
YEARS AFTER THE LAST CONTACT WITH THE ANIMAL ON WHICH THE PROCEDURE  WAS
PERFORMED. ALL SUCH RECORDS SHALL BE SUBJECT TO AUDIT BY THE STATE BOARD
FOR VETERINARY MEDICINE.
  D.  ANY PERSON WHO PERFORMS A DEVOCALIZATION PROCEDURE ON A DOG OR CAT
SHALL REPORT THE NUMBER OF ALL SUCH PROCEDURES TO THE  STATE  BOARD  FOR
VETERINARY  MEDICINE  ANNUALLY  ON  OR BEFORE MARCH THIRTIETH. THE BOARD
SHALL MAINTAIN ALL NOTICES RECEIVED  UNDER  THIS  SUBDIVISION  FOR  FOUR
YEARS FROM THE DATE OF RECEIPT.
  E.  ANY  PERSON  WHO PERFORMS A SURGICAL DEVOCALIZATION PROCEDURE ON A
DOG OR CAT SHALL PREPARE AND PROVIDE TO THE  ANIMAL'S  OWNER  A  WRITTEN
NOTICE  THAT  SUCH PROCEDURE HAS BEEN CONDUCTED ON THE ANIMAL IN ACCORD-
ANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION AND CONTAINING THE  INFORMATION
SPECIFIED  IN  SUBPARAGRAPHS  ONE, THREE, FIVE AND SIX OF PARAGRAPH A OF
THIS SUBDIVISION.
  4. NO COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENT, PET SHOP, FIRM, CORPORATION OR  PERSON
SHALL  KNOWINGLY SELL A DOG OR CAT THAT HAS BEEN SURGICALLY DEVOCALIZED,
UNLESS A COPY OF THE WRITTEN NOTICE DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH E OF SUBDIVI-
SION THREE OF THIS SECTION IS  PROVIDED  TO  ANY  PROSPECTIVE  PURCHASER
BEFORE  THE  PURCHASER ENTERS INTO AN AGREEMENT TO PURCHASE SAID ANIMAL.
IN ADDITION TO THE PENALTIES SET FORTH IN THIS  SECTION,  A  FAILURE  TO
PROVIDE  SUCH  NOTICE SHALL RENDER ANY PURCHASE AGREEMENT VOIDABLE AND A
VIOLATION OF THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL CONSTITUTE AN UNFAIR OR DECEPTIVE  ACT
OR  PRACTICE  IN  THE CONDUCT OF A TRADE OR COMMERCE UNDER SECTION THREE
HUNDRED FORTY-NINE OF THE GENERAL BUSINESS LAW.  THE PROVISIONS OF  THIS
PARAGRAPH  SHALL  NOT  APPLY  TO  DULY  INCORPORATED  HUMANE  SOCIETIES,
NON-PROFIT ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS, DULY INCORPORATED SOCIETIES FOR
THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS,  DOG  OR  CAT  PROTECTIVE  ASSOCI-
ATIONS, DOG CONTROL OFFICERS, POUNDS OR SHELTERS.
  5.  AS  USED IN THIS SECTION, "DEVOCALIZATION" MEANS A SURGICAL PROCE-
DURE ON THE LARYNX  OR  VOCAL  CORDS  OF  AN  ANIMAL  WHICH  CAUSES  THE
REDUCTION  OR  ELIMINATION  OF  VOCAL SOUNDS PRODUCED BY THAT ANIMAL AND
INCLUDES PROCEDURES COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS "DEBARKING", "SILENCING"  OR
"BARK SOFTENING".
  6.  A.  ANY  PERSON WHO PERFORMS, OR KNOWINGLY CAUSES TO BE PERFORMED,
THE SURGICAL DEVOCALIZATION  OF  A  DOG  OR  CAT  IN  VIOLATION  OF  THE
PROVISIONS  OF  THIS  SECTION  SHALL  BE GUILTY OF A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR
PUNISHABLE BY IMPRISONMENT FOR A PERIOD OF NOT MORE THAN ONE YEAR OR  BY
A  FINE  OF NOT TO EXCEED FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS OR BY BOTH SUCH FINE AND
IMPRISONMENT.
  B. IN ADDITION TO THE PENALTIES  DESCRIBED  IN  PARAGRAPH  A  OF  THIS
SUBDIVISION,  THE COURT MAY ORDER ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS
OF THIS SECTION TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE A COURSE OF  INSTRUCTION  RELA-
TIVE  TO  THE  HUMANE  TREATMENT  OF ANIMALS OR BE BARRED FROM OWNING OR

S. 6167--A                          3

KEEPING A DOG OR CAT OR SHARING A RESIDENCE WITH  ANOTHER  WHO  OWNS  OR
KEEPS A DOG OR CAT FOR A PERIOD OF TIME AS DETERMINED BY SAID COURT. THE
COURT  MAY FURTHER ORDER ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS SECTION TO SURREN-
DER  THE  ANIMAL  ON  WHICH  THE PROCEDURE WAS PERFORMED, AS WELL AS ANY
OTHER ANIMALS OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY SUCH PERSON.
  C. ANY VETERINARIAN WHO PERFORMS A SURGICAL  DEVOCALIZATION  PROCEDURE
IN  VIOLATION  OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE
REVOCATION OR SUSPENSION OF HIS OR HER LICENSE.
  S 2. The commissioner of agriculture and markets and the  commissioner
of education are authorized and directed to promulgate and implement all
rules,  regulations  and  standards  they respectively deem necessary to
enforce the provisions of this act on or before the  effective  date  of
this act.
  S  3.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
have become a law.

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