NY State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has signed into law a bill that prohibits tattooing and piercing of companion animals. The bill’s sponsor, Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, had originally introduced the
legislation in 2011 after hearing about a Pennsylvania woman who was selling “gothic kittens” with piercings on their ears, necks & down the length of their spines.The bill did not pass right away, but Rosenthal kept the pressure on & finally, this past year, the bill gained momentum after controversy erupted when a Brooklyn tattoo artist tattooed his pit bull during a surgery to remove the dog’s spleen. The bill passed the Assembly 132-0 and the Senate 59-0.
“People can choose to tattoo or pierce their own bodies, but their pets do not enjoy that same luxury,” said Rosenthal. “Anyone who would subject an animal to needless pain and suffering to make a fashion statement should be guilty of a crime, and with my law, they will now face stiff penalties.”
The law, which was sponsored by Tom Libous in the Senate, will take effect in 120 days and will make it illegal to tattoo or pierce companion animals unless performed by or under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian for identification or medical purposes only. Anyone found in violation of this new section of law would face up to 12 months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.