From: American Sporting Dog Alliance
by John Yates
It looks like HSUS has learned a new trick in New York and trying for a rerun on an old one.
Legislation has been introduced that would require every dog and every dog owner to complete certified obedience training as a condition of licensing. Another bill would mandate microchipping of all dogs in order to get a license for them. Assembly Member Jose Peralta (D-Queens) introduced both bills.
AB 1540 mandates obedience training and certification. No dog could be licensed without an obedience training certificate, and no owner could buy a dog license without undergoing training. Ironically, Peralta exempts residents of his own city from the legislation.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance strongly opposes this kind of legislation, which places a substantial burden on dog owners, bears no relationship to the realities of most dog ownership, is a solution in search of a problem, will result in a decrease in rabies and licensing law compliance, and will cause many pets to be abandoned when their owners can’t afford the services of a certified school.
Obedience courses are not available in many rural areas, and certification inevitably leads toward favoritism toward certain methods of training that are not endorsed by many dog owners. In addition, many dog owners are skilled trainers themselves and have no need for such services.
In many urban areas, a basic obedience course costs $1,000 or more. No evidence is shown that would justify imposing this kind of burden on the vast majority of dog owners. Moreover, many people simply will not be able to afford to provide this kind of training, especially in today’s poor economy, and this will force people to abandon their pets or fly under the radar without licensing their dogs or obtaining rabies vaccinations.
Here is a link to the text of this bill: http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A01540&sh=t.
The second bill, AB 255, requires all dogs in New York to be microchipped by the age of four months.
In addition, a state registry would be created for microchip data for every dog in the state and their owners.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance strongly opposes mandatory microchipping, which is controversial among some dog owners. Other options are available, such as name tags or tattoos. We also strongly oppose creating a state registry, which allows animal control agencies to go on a “fishing expedition” to enforce a variety of other laws, and thus invades the privacy of everyone without cause.
Here is a link to the text of this bill: http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A00255&sh=t.
Both bills have been referred to the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee. We urge New York dog owners to contact Agriculture Committee members to voice strong opposition. Here is a link to members of the committee: http://assembly.state.ny.us/comm/?sec=mem&id=2.
We also are studying two other pieces of New York legislation.
The first is a bill redefining a “pet dealer” in a way that might lead to including hobby breeders. Last year, failed legislation would have brought all hobby breeders under strict “pet dealer” regulations. This year’s legislation creates some ambiguity in this regard, but basically does little to change the law. This alarms us, as it might lead to an attempt to make amendments on the floor similar to last year’s bill. Here is a link: http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A01377&sh=t.
The second bill, AB 2069 would impose stringent regulations on boarding kennels, which include training kennels and day care services. It is a backdoor approach to regulation, because it is based on health code compliance (not on animal law) and requires health department inspection and certification.
We see much potential to harm kennel owners without any good reason from this approach, which also creates a new and cumbersome level of bureaucracy.
We are very alarmed that this legislation is both an attempt to redefine animal care as a public health issue, and to give health inspectors unrestricted access to kennels when there is no proof of any relationship between kennels and human health concerns in the community. We see it as an attempt to add another unjustified regulatory burden on kennel owners.
Here is a link to the legislation: http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A02069&sh=t.