Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris announced the State Senate passed his legislation (S.1130/A.4283) banning the retail sale of animals in pet stores. The bill aims to shut down the puppy mill-to-pet store pipeline, cutting off one of the largest markets in the nation for animals bred for pet stores. Most of the animals available for sale in pet stores come from notorious dog, cat and bunny mills, which are known to be inhumane. Offspring of mill animals often have congenital issues resulting from poor breeding and can cost families thousands of dollars in veterinary care. Pet breeders and stores are loosely regulated under the Animal Welfare Act by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Recent investigations revealed, however, that under the Trump administration, USDA inspectors have been less aggressive in enforcing these regulations. In addition, the USDA is issuing fewer serious violations that would ordinarily trigger swift follow-up by the agency. According to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the state agency tasked with regulating pet dealers, there are approximately 80 pet stores registered throughout the state. The bill, which first passed the Senate last year, is also advancing in the State Assembly, where it was passed through committee today.