Bill S6669-2013

Prohibits cruel treatment of elephants

Prohibits cruel treatment of elephants; prohibits the possession of certain devices; prohibits the use of certain devices on elephants; prohibits acts which cause pain, injury or death to an elephant; any violation of this section shall constitute a class E felony.

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  • Feb 25, 2014: REFERRED TO AGRICULTURE

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BILL NUMBER:S6669

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to prohibiting cruel treatment of elephants

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

The purpose of this legislation is to prohibit acts of cruelty on or to an elephant in order to ensure their safety and well being.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section one adds a new section 380 to prohibit any person from committing acts or possessing implements which are likely to cause injury or death to an elephant. Violations to this section shall constitute a class E felony. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any other protections afforded to elephants under any other provision of this article or any other law. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the enactment of local laws or ordinances governing or restricting the use of elephants that are more stringent. Nothing shall be construed to prohibit a veterinarian from performing necessary treatment on an elephant.

Section two provides the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Elephants used for exhibition have been subjected to abusive handling, training and discipline techniques, including, for example, the use of bullhooks, shocking devices, whips and chains. According to the Animals and Society Institute in its report entitled, "Elephants in Circuses: Analysis of Practice Policy, and Future," "Early trauma, chronic stress, and severe deprivation are common to most, if not all, close-confinement institutions, notably circuses and zoos. These conditions lead, to severe psychobiological and physiological damage to elephants in captivity. The added stress and trauma exerted by such practices as beating, negative reinforcement, chaining, physical abuse, and social isolation further undermine elephant wellbeing..."

Corporal punishment also increases behavioral stress and aggression in elephants, thus creating public health and safety concerns. According to a report published by the Performing Welfare Society, an average of one elephant keeper is killed by a captive elephant every year. Some of these incidents can be attributed to harsh training and handling methods. When elephants are restrained for long periods of time, they are also more susceptible to degenerative joint disease due to the lack of circulation in their legs and to infection if their foot pads are not carefully maintained. This legislation will help to prevent abusive training and handling of elephants in our state and will better protect the safety and welfare of the public.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6669 IN SENATE February 25, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to prohib- iting cruel treatment of elephants THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new section 380 to read as follows: S 380. CRUELTY TO ELEPHANTS. 1. IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON TO COMMIT ANY OF THE FOLLOWING ACTS ON OR TO AN ELEPHANT: (A) USING A BULLHOOK, ANKUS, OR SIMILAR DEVICE; (B) USING ELECTRICITY OR ANY SHOCKING DEVICE; (C) USING MARTINGALES, WHIP, OR BLOCK AND TACKLE; (D) HITTING, BEATING, PUNCHING, KICKING, OR ENGAGING IN ANY OTHER ACT WHICH COULD CAUSE PAIN OR INJURY; (E) INSERTING ANY INSTRUMENT INTO ANY BODILY ORIFICE; (F) USING CHAINS FOR THE PURPOSE OF RESTRAINING OR TYING DOWN EXCEPT FOR THE LIMITED PURPOSE OF PROTECTING PUBLIC SAFETY; (G) DEPRIVING OF ADEQUATE FOOD, WATER, OR REST; OR (H) COMMITTING ANY OTHER PRACTICES WHICH ARE LIKELY TO CAUSE INJURY OR DEATH TO AN ELEPHANT. 2. NO PERSON SHALL POSSESS ANY DEVICE WHICH EMITS AN ELECTRIC CURRENT OR SHOCK OR ANY INSTRUMENT THAT MAY REASONABLY RESULT IN DAMAGE, SCAR- RING OR BREAKAGE TO THE SKIN OF AN ELEPHANT IN THE PRESENCE OF AN ELEPHANT. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, SUCH IMPLEMENT OR DEVICE INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, A BULLHOOK, ANKUS, OR OTHER SIMILAR DEVICE. 3. ANY VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION SHALL CONSTITUTE A CLASS E FELONY. 4. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO AFFECT ANY OTHER PROTECTIONS AFFORDED TO ELEPHANTS UNDER ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS CHAPTER OR ANY OTHER LAW. 5. NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION SHALL PREVENT ANY TOWN, CITY, VILLAGE, OR COUNTY IN THE STATE FROM ENACTING A LOCAL LAW OR ORDINANCE GOVERNING OR RESTRICTING THE USE OF ELEPHANTS WITHIN SUCH TOWN, CITY,
VILLAGE, OR COUNTY PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NO SUCH LAW OR ORDINANCE SHALL BE LESS STRINGENT THAN THIS SECTION. 6. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO PROHIBIT A VETERINA- RIAN FROM PERFORMING NECESSARY TREATMENT ON AN ELEPHANT. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.

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