Pending Anti-Devocalization Legislation

New York

Ceretto passes legislation to ban ‘convenience’ animal devocalization

by jmaloni
Submitted
Wed, Jan 29th 2014 10:55 pm

Assemblyman John Ceretto co-sponsored and passed legislation to ban “convenience” animal devocalization in New York. The procedure poses significant and unnecessary health risks to healthy animals and is done simply to silence more boisterous animals. Ceretto considers this an inhumane procedure to perform on a healthy animal.

“I was happy to help sponsor and pass this humane legislation for our four-legged friends,” he said. “Removing the vocal chords of a loud animal is an extreme, Byzantine solution that should not be allowed in New York.

We love our dogs like family, and there are better solutions to stop dogs from barking, such as professional training. We don’t remove our kids’ vocal chords when they start talking back, and we shouldn’t devocalize animals that bark too much.”

Exceptions are made for situations where the procedure is necessary for treatment of an illness, disease or injury.

The legislation will now be sent to the Senate and, if passed, it will then go Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk to be signed into law.

 

A01204 Text:

 

 

 S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
____________________________________

1204

      2013-2014 Regular Sessions

       I N  A S S E M B L Y

     (PREFILED)

   January 9, 2013
_________________

 

Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  ZEBROWSKI, MILLMAN, MILLER, ARROYO, SWEENEY,
DINOWITZ, TITONE, PAULIN, COLTON,  RIVERA,  SCARBOROUGH,  ENGLEBRIGHT,
MAISEL,  GUNTHER,  SIMOTAS,  LAVINE,  GALEF, BOYLAND, CUSICK, BRONSON,
MOYA, WEISENBERG, ROSENTHAL, GLICK, KELLNER, CAMARA, CAHILL,  BENEDET-
TO,  ROBERTS,  HOOPER, DenDEKKER, WEPRIN, KAVANAGH, BRINDISI — Multi-
Sponsored by — M. of A. BRENNAN, CERETTO, CURRAN,  FINCH,  GABRYSZAK,
GIBSON,  GIGLIO,  GOTTFRIED,  HIKIND, LOSQUADRO, LUPARDO, MALLIOTAKIS,
McDONOUGH, McKEVITT, PERRY, RAIA, SALADINO, SCHIMEL, TEDISCO,  TENNEY,
THIELE,  WALTER — read once and referred to the Committee on Agricul-
ture

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:

1  Section  1. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new
2  section 365-a to read as follows:
3  S 365-A. DEVOCALIZATION OF ANIMALS. 1. NO  PERSON  SHALL  PERFORM  THE
4  SURGICAL  DEVOCALIZATION  OF  A DOG OR CAT EXCEPT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE
5  PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION.
6  2. A. SURGICAL DEVOCALIZATION OF A DOG OR CAT SHALL BE PERFORMED  ONLY
7  BY  A  PERSON  LICENSED  AS  A  VETERINARIAN  IN  THIS  STATE  UNDER THE
8  PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-FIVE OF THE EDUCATION LAW.
9  B. SURGICAL DEVOCALIZATION OF A DOG OR CAT MAY BE PERFORMED ONLY  WHEN
10 THE  PROCEDURE  IS  MEDICALLY  NECESSARY  TO TREAT OR RELIEVE A PHYSICAL
11  ILLNESS, DISEASE OR INJURY OR CORRECT A CONGENITAL ABNORMALITY  SUFFERED
12  BY  THE  ANIMAL,  WHICH  PHYSICAL ILLNESS, DISEASE, INJURY OR CONGENITAL
13  ABNORMALITY IS CAUSING OR MAY REASONABLY CAUSE THE ANIMAL PHYSICAL  PAIN
14 OR HARM.

EXPLANATION–Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
LBD00470-01-3
A. 1204                             2

1    3. A. ANY PERSON WHO PERFORMS A SURGICAL DEVOCALIZATION PROCEDURE ON A
2  DOG  OR CAT SHALL INCLUDE INFORMATION RELATED TO THE PROCEDURE INCLUDING
3  THE MEDICAL NECESSITY IN THE ANIMAL’S TREATMENT  RECORD  AS  DEFINED  IN
4  SECTION SIXTY-SEVEN HUNDRED FOURTEEN OF THE EDUCATION LAW.
5  B.  ANY PERSON WHO PERFORMS A DEVOCALIZATION PROCEDURE ON A DOG OR CAT
6  SHALL REPORT THE NUMBER IN THE AGGREGATE OF ALL SUCH PROCEDURES  TO  THE
7  COMMISSIONER  OF  EDUCATION  ANNUALLY  ON OR BEFORE MARCH THIRTIETH. THE
8  DEPARTMENT SHALL MAINTAIN ALL NOTICES RECEIVED  UNDER  THIS  SUBDIVISION
9  FOR FOUR YEARS FROM THE DATE OF RECEIPT.
10 4.  AS  USED IN THIS SECTION, “DEVOCALIZATION” MEANS A SURGICAL PROCE-
11 DURE ON THE LARYNX OR VOCAL CORDS OF AN ANIMAL  INTENDED  TO  CAUSE  THE
12 REDUCTION  OR  ELIMINATION  OF  VOCAL SOUNDS PRODUCED BY THAT ANIMAL AND
13 INCLUDES PROCEDURES COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS “DEBARKING”, “SILENCING”  OR
14 “BARK SOFTENING”.
15 5.  A.  ANY  PERSON  WHO KNOWINGLY PERFORMS, OR KNOWINGLY CAUSES TO BE
16 PERFORMED, THE SURGICAL DEVOCALIZATION OF A DOG OR CAT IN  VIOLATION  OF
17 THE  PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE GUILTY OF A CLASS B MISDEMEANOR
18 PUNISHABLE BY IMPRISONMENT FOR A PERIOD OF NOT MORE THAN NINETY DAYS  OR
19 BY  A  FINE  NOT TO EXCEED FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS OR BY BOTH SUCH FINE AND
20 IMPRISONMENT.
21 B. ANY VETERINARIAN WHO KNOWINGLY PERFORMS A  SURGICAL  DEVOCALIZATION
22 PROCEDURE  IN  VIOLATION  OF  THE  PROVISIONS  OF  THIS SECTION SHALL BE
23 SUBJECT TO THE REVOCATION OR SUSPENSION OF HIS OR HER  LICENSE  PURSUANT
24 TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY OF THE EDUCATION LAW.
25  S  2.  Paragraph  a of subdivision 8 of section 374 of the agriculture
26  and markets law, as amended by chapter 594 of the laws of 2003 and  such
27  subdivision as renumbered by chapter 479 of the laws of 2009, is amended
28  to read as follows:
29  a.  In  addition to any other penalty provided by law, upon conviction
30  for any violation of section  three  hundred  fifty-one,  three  hundred
31  fifty-three,  three  hundred fifty-three-a, three hundred fifty-three-b,
32  three hundred fifty-five, three hundred fifty-six, three hundred  fifty-
33  nine,  three  hundred  sixty,  three  hundred  sixty-one,  three hundred
34  sixty-five, THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE-A or three hundred  sixty-eight  of
35  this article, the convicted person may, after a duly held hearing pursu-
36  ant  to  paragraph  f  of  this  subdivision, be ordered by the court to
37  forfeit, to a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to
38  animals or a duly incorporated humane society or authorized agents ther-
39  eof, the animal or animals which are the basis of the  conviction.  Upon
40  such  an  order  of  forfeiture, the convicted person shall be deemed to
41  have relinquished all rights to the animals which are the basis  of  the
42  conviction, except those granted in paragraph d of this subdivision.
43  S  3. The commissioner of agriculture and markets and the commissioner
44  of education are authorized and directed to promulgate and implement all
45  rules, regulations and standards they  respectively  deem  necessary  to
46  enforce  the  provisions  of this act on or before the effective date of
47  this act.
48  S 4. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
49  have become a law.

Virginia

The Commonwealth of Virginia had before it anti-devocalization legislation in 2012.  It provided that: “Any person, including a licensed veterinarian, who performs a surgical devocalization on a cat or dog when such procedure is not necessary to treat or relieve an illness, disease, or injury or to correct a congenital abnormality that is causing or may cause the animal physical pain or harm is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.”  It provided further that: “Any person convicted of violating this section may be prohibited by the court from possession or ownership of companion animals,” and that “Any licensed veterinarian who performs a surgical devocalization on a cat or dog shall keep a record of such procedure for a period of four years, as prescribed by the Board. Such records shall be subject to audit by the Board.”

Apparently, lobbyists prevailed upon the House Agriculture Committee to kick the bill over to 2013.  For more information about the bill — and what appears to be a deliberate misstatement of what devocalization actually is — see:http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?121+ful+HB158. “HB158 will not be considered this year. House Agriculture Subcommittee recommended the bill be continued to 2013.” As of February 25, 2014 ISAR continues tracking any updates regarding this bill. There has been no further action in Virginia since 2013.