NY Bill bans pet stores from selling puppies, impacts ‘puppy mill pipeline’

(Photo credit: Manuel Schäfer/Getty)

After years of deliberation, New York State has taken an important step toward eliminating puppy mills and protecting animal welfare. In June, the New York State Legislature passed a bill to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores statewide. Supporters are now waiting for Governor Kathy Hochul to sign it into law.

Why pet stores can be bad for animals

The bill, known as the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill, received bipartisan support. If Governor Hochul signs the deal, New York will join other states with similar laws. The legislation seeks to close the pipeline between puppy mills and the dozens of pet stores in the state.

The federal government regulates and licenses most commercial breeders, and many retailers claim their pets are ethically sourced and well cared for. However, animal rights advocates, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and the New York State Animal Protection Federation (NYSAPF) support commercial farming has long been detrimental to animal welfare. Proponents say the rules are insufficient and rarely enforced. And with little oversight or consequences, many ranchers raise animals in inhumane conditions. As a result, animals in stores are often sick.

Bill has the potential to help puppies nationwide

Commercial breeding also puts more pressure on refuges. The bill allows people to buy directly from breeders. Still, advocates hope that reducing these practices will increase the likelihood that prospective pet parents will adopt, not shop.

“We know what it looks like when animals don’t receive that care, and certainly from the photos and documentation of what these facilities look like, it’s not happening,” Jennie Lintz, director of initiatives at puppy mills at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told The New York Times. “New York remains one of the largest markets for these commercial facilities, so the bill could have an impact not just here, but across the country.”

Governor Hochul has not publicly commented on the bill, but said her office is reviewing the legislation. The governor must either sign it or veto it before the end of the year.

About Hector Hedgepeth

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