New York

Updates about legal issues facing animals in the state

The Animal Legal Defense Fund works at the federal, state and local levels to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals. This page is meant to be used as a resource to see what is happening in your state and what actions you can take for animals.

State Rankings

Each year, the Animal Legal Defense Fund publishes its U.S. State Animal Protection Laws Rankings Report. It is the longest-running and most authoritative of its kind, assessing the strength of each state’s animal protection laws by examining over 3,400 pages of statutes. Each state is ranked based on 19 different categories of animal protection.

New York
Overall Rank: #32 (Middle Tier)

  • +Legal mechanism for pre-conviction forfeiture of cruelly treated animals
  • +Peace officers have a duty to enforce animal cruelty laws
  • -Care requirements/standards are not well defined
  • -No felony provisions for abandonment, neglect, or sexual assault of animals
  • -Other agencies or departments are not required to report suspected animal cruelty

Active Legislation

rabbits

New York Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act (New York)

Prohibits the manufacture or sale of cosmetics tested on animals after January 1, 2022 (A.5653-A/ S.4839)
The New York Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act, A.5653-A/S.4839, would prohibit the manufacture or sale of most cosmetics tested on animals after January 1, 2022.
Banning Killing Contests (New York)

Banning Killing Contests (New York)

Prohibits harassing or killing certain wildlife species at competitive events (A.5746)
A.5746, championed by Assembly Member Deborah Glick (D-66), would prohibit harassing or killing certain wildlife at competitive events.
cat and dog

Courtroom Animal Advocate Program (New York)

Courtroom Animal Advocates (S.3525/A.5315)
The New York Courtroom Animal Advocate Program (CAAP) bill would provide for an advocate in criminal cases concerning the welfare or care of an animal.
puppy mills

Retail Pet Sale Ban (New York)

Puppy Mill Pipeline Act (S.1130 and A.4283)
The Puppy Mill Pipeline Act (S.1130 and A.4283), sponsored by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D-67) and Senator Michael Gianaris (D-12), would prohibit the sale of puppies, kittens, and rabbits in retail stores.
Black Dog

Bella’s Bill

Overhauling New York’s Cruelty Laws
Proposes an overhaul New York’s outdated animal cruelty laws, allowing for stronger sentences for animal cruelty.

Active Cases

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Recent Victories

horse

Strengthening Protections for Carriage Horses Forced to Work in Extreme Heat (NYC)

The Carriage Horse Heat Relief Bill (Intro 1425)
The Animal Legal Defense Fund was a member of the coalition supporting Intro 1425 — prohibiting carriage horses from working when the heat index is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
ducks

Banning the Sale of Foie Gras in New York City

Bans the sale or provision of certain force-fed poultry products (Intro 1378)
Bans the sale of foie gras — a cruelly-produced “gourmet” delicacy that comes from force-feeding young ducks and geese until their livers swell to up to eight times their natural size — in New York City.
cat

Demanding Public Records Relating to Invasive Cat Experiments

The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit to compel the disclosure of public records regarding invasive experiments on cats and kittens conducted by the State University of New York College of Optometry.

Take Action

Take action now to help animals in your state.

fox

New York: Urge Your State Senator to Ban Cruel Wildlife Killing Contests

The New York Legislature is now considering a bill, A.5746/S.6643, that would prohibit harassing or killing certain wild animals at competitive events. Seven states have already enacted bans on wildlife killing contests, and with your help, New York could be next!
puppy

New York: Urge Your Assemblymember to Support the Puppy Mill Pipeline Act

The Puppy Mill Pipeline Act (S.1130/A.4283) would shut down the puppy mill to pet store pipeline by prohibiting the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in retail stores.
cat and dog

New York: Ask Your Legislators to Protect Animal Cruelty Victims!

S.3525/A.5315 provides for an advocate in criminal cases concerning the welfare or care of an animal. Courtroom Animal Advocate Programs allow advocates — supervised law students or volunteer lawyers — to advocate for animal victims in criminal cruelty cases.
cow

Stop Ag-Gag Laws

Undercover investigations and whistleblowers have exposed some of the worst aspects of factory farming, but Ag-Gag laws punish people who speak out about cruelty in animal agriculture. Voice your opposition.
dog

No More Puppy Mills

Puppy mill operators maximize their profits by producing large numbers of puppies as quickly as possible. As a result, unsanitary conditions, disease, and neglect are rampant. Sign our pledge to boycott puppy mills. Together we can end cruel puppy mills.
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals

Want to take the next step in your animal advocacy? Learn the skills you need to pass laws protecting animals at the local level! Local laws are critical – not only do they help individual animals in your community but prime state legislation.
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Prohibiting Circuses and Traveling Shows that Exploit Animals

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Prohibiting Circuses and Traveling Shows that Exploit Animals

Learn how wild animals are exploited in circuses and traveling shows, and how you can help!
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Fur Bans

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Fur Bans

Learn how to fight back against the cruel fur industry by passing a fur ban in your community! Led by Animal Legal Defense Fund Campaigns Manager Elizabeth Holtz, this webinar will walk you through the mechanics of fur production, the policy issues, including animal cruelty, environmental impacts, and public health, and more.