This bill has been amended

Bill S6903-2013

Relates to public safety and wild animals

Relates to public safety and big cats; prohibits contact with big cats.

Details

Actions

  • May 14, 2014: AMENDED 45
  • May 13, 2014: 1ST REPORT CAL.625
  • Mar 27, 2014: REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Environmental Conservation - May 13, 2014
Ayes (7): Grisanti, Avella, Marcellino, Young, Espaillat, Serrano, Latimer
Ayes W/R (5): LaValle, Little, Maziarz, O'Brien, Tkaczyk
Nays (1): O'Mara

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6903

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to public safety and wild animals

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

The purpose of this bill is to protect animal caretakers, those inter-acting with wild animals, bystanders and the animals themselves by preventing direct contact between wild animals and members of the public.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section one amends the environmental conservation law by adding a new section 11-0538.

Section two sets forth the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

In New York and throughout the United States, several roadside zoo exhibitors and traveling menageries allow members of the public to hold take photos with, and otherwise interact with wild animals in roadside zoos, fairgrounds, malls and other public areas. This activity severely harms the welfare of the animals, endangers the public, and is a heavy burden on law enforcement.

This activity also requires an ongoing supply of young animals. Infant animals are prematurely separated from their mothers to be groomed for human handling, often die due to constant handling and travel, and are even subjected to abusive training and painful declawing or deranging procedures in a futile attempt to make them safe for public contact once they mature. After the animals grow too big for handling, they are held on leashes with no protective barriers. Often they are dumped and sent to substandard facilities.

There is no safe or humane result when direct contact with wild animals is allowed. Other states, including Kansas; Mississippi, and Arizona, have strengthened existing laws to address public contact issues.

This legislation is narrowly crafted to prohibit direct physical contact between members of the public and captive wild animals as defined in subdivision 6 (e) of section 11-0103 of the New York Environmental Conservation Law. This bill would not impact exhibition of captive animals or restrict veterinary examination, treatment and care, or transportation deemed necessary.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2013-2014 Assembly A9004(Rosenthal)

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Yet to be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6903 IN SENATE March 27, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. AVELLA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to public safety and wild animals THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new section 11-0538 to read as follows: S 11-0538. DIRECT CONTACT BETWEEN PUBLIC AND WILD ANIMALS PROHIBITED. 1. AS USED IN THIS SECTION: (A) "WILD ANIMAL" MEANS A LIVING WILD ANIMAL OF THE ORDERS AND FAMI- LIES DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (E) OF SUBDIVISION 6 OF SECTION 11-0103 OF THIS ARTICLE. (B) "DIRECT CONTACT" MEANS PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH A WILD ANIMAL OR PROXIMITY TO A WILD ANIMAL WHERE PHYSICAL CONTACT WOULD BE POSSIBLE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, HAVING A PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN WITH A WILD ANIMAL WITHOUT A PERMANENT PHYSICAL BARRIER THAT PREVENTS PHYSICAL CONTACT BETWEEN THE PUBLIC AND WILD ANIMAL. 2. IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON LICENSED OR REQUIRED TO BE LICENSED AS AN EXHIBITOR OR DEALER PURSUANT TO THE ANIMAL WELFARE ACT, 7 USC 2132-2134, INCLUDING AGENTS OR EMPLOYEES OF SUCH PERSON, TO KNOWING- LY ALLOW THE PUBLIC TO HAVE DIRECT CONTACT WITH A WILD ANIMAL. 3. ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A PENALTY OF NOT MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR THE FIRST OFFENSE AND NOT MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR A SECOND AND SUBSE- QUENT OFFENSES. EACH INSTANCE OF ALLOWING DIRECT CONTACT OF A WILD ANIMAL WITH THE PUBLIC IN VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION SHALL CONSTITUTE A SEPARATE OFFENSE. 4. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO LIMIT OR RESTRICT VETERINARY EXAMINATION, TREATMENT OR CARE OF A WILD ANIMAL OR TRANSPOR- TATION OF THE ANIMAL FOR SUCH PURPOSE. 5. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO AFFECT ANY PROTECTIONS AFFORDED TO WILD ANIMALS UNDER ANY OTHER LAW.
6. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL PREVENT ANY CITY, TOWN, OR COUNTY FROM ENACTING MORE RESTRICTIVE PROVISIONS GOVERNING DIRECT CONTACT BETWEEN WILD ANIMALS AND THE PUBLIC. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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