This new law will create State and county teams to protect animals in the event of an emergency. The Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets will appoint and provide training to qualified volunteers for the teams which will then act to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters affecting animals in New York State.
“When emergencies or disasters arise, a rescue team’s first priority is human life, and family pets and farm animals are often an afterthought,” said Senator Saland. “Under this new law, volunteer animal response teams will make animals a priority during such emergencies. They will help to prevent the loss of a beloved family pet as well as farm animals, which provide livelihoods for so many New Yorkers. Additionally, a more specific cause for concern is animal related disasters. Since disease can spread rapidly, these teams will be well prepared for issues that affect not only the animals, but the humans who care for them.”
The new law takes effect immediately.