New York State has a situation that affects taxpayers, consumers and responsible caretakers. The subject is the rapid influx of commercial breeders, primarily to Central New York. As regulations in neighboring states have become more stringent, breeders are moving into New York.
New York State appears to be the only state that specifically has language that disallows home rule regarding companion animal breeders and pet stores.
No other NYS companion animal laws have this preemption clause. The state bill, A.740/S.3753, sponsored by Representative Linda Rosenthal and Senator Mark Grisanti, would repeal this preemption clause, closing this loophole, and allowing local governments, which choose to do so, to have the ability to monitor these facilities in their own communities and to evaluate the level of adherence to relevant laws.
The USDA is responsible for the licensing/regulating of commercial breeders.
This is not a badge of honor, as all breeders who sell to brokers/pet stores must be licensed. It does not guarantee quality.
The USDA, by its own admission, is not able to do its job effectively. Inspection visits are often performed only once a year.
There is a lack of collecting fines and following-up to see that violations have been corrected, leaving the animals to suffer another year.
The Office of the Inspector General completed an audit in 2010 documenting this situation, and the alarming report can be seen at the following site: http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/33002-4-SF.pdf.
The USDA lacks the funds to hire and train enough people to handle the job adequately. This is why we are asking that this bill be signed into law now.
Local representation would mean regular inspections and guaranteed compliance with state and local laws protecting the consumers and the animals. When each facility can have 50 to 1000 animals to tend, one inspection a year will not suffice.
Pet stores are regulated by the state and the same situation applies to the state level.
They need help, and if local governments want to do the work, why not?
The consumers will likely get healthier and better bred pets, the state a reduced load, and the animals better follow-up for mandated medical requirements.
Tax money pays for thousands of pets euthanized yearly due to overpopulation and neglect, and for confiscated mass bred animals who often have never had any vetting, grooming or bathing. Pending litigation can mean many months of care, paid primarily with taxpayer money.
A.740/S.3753 is not intended to put pet dealers out of business.
It is intended to allow localities to better protect their residents and companion animals.
This bill will not take authority away from the state, but will allow local governments an option if they see a need for intervention.
Consumers, pet dealers, breeding dogs and their offspring will ALL benefit from the passage of this bill.
If anyone would like to contact his/her representatives and ask them to vote for this bill, names and contact information can be found here: http://www.suny.edu/govtrelations/state/Representative.cfm.
Janice L. Wilson
1808 State Route 104
Parish, New York 13131