2004-04-02 / Community

Pheffer: Don’t Ignore Animal Abuse

Pheffer: Don’t Ignore Animal Abuse

In recognition of Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month this April, Assemblywoman Pheffer (D-Queens) urged the governor to reconsider budget cuts that would lead to the elimination of the animal inspection requirement for pet dealers that sell more than 25 animals each year, as well as the complaint-based inspections now mandated for smaller pet dealers.

"If we start ignoring animal abuse to save a few dollars, we’re sending a message that inhumane acts are acceptable," Assemblywoman Pheff er said. "This is not the kind of message we should be sending. I will work to make sure laws ensuring the humane treatment of all animals are enforced."

In 2000, the rising number of "backyard breeder" incidences that resulted in animal cruelty cases in our state led to the passage of the "Pet Dealer Consumer Protection and Animal Care Standards Act" (Ch. 259 of 2000). The law requires annual licensing and inspections of both pet stores and breeders who sell dogs and cats to the public.

"While most are loving and caring in di viduals, some breeders and pet deal ers are simply looking to make a profit from the exploitation of pets," Assemblywoman Pheffer said. "All too often, these animals are bred and sold without knowledge and experience of the genetic diseases common of the breed – forcing many of them to endure hip dysplasia, eye disease, thyroid disease, or autoimmune deficiencies."

Assemblywoman Pheffer noted that without inspections, this law, designed to protect puppies and kittens sold as pets as well as the consumers who purchase them, will be unenforceable. Elimination of the inspections could also threaten public health, as animals can transmit some diseases to hu mans.

"The governor’s budget would undermine the Legislature’s effort to put a stop to the unethical treatment of animals," Assemblywoman Pheffer said. "Many animals become like mem bers of a family. That’s why I urge the governor to reconsider his proposal, and not attempt to balance the bud get at the expense of our canine and feline companions."

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