On 15th December 2022, the State of New York banned the sale of cats, dogs and rabbits in pet shops to deal with the problem of “puppy mills”, where animals are raised in inhumane conditions before being shipped off to stores. On that day Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the new law, which will take effect in 2024. Pet shops will now have to work with shelters to offer rescued or abandoned animals up for adoption. The new law will not affect private breeders who breed animals in their homes and raised them on their property.

Earlier in the year, the New York State Senate passed a package of legislation that increased animal protection and included the banning of animal tests for cosmetics, the ban on importing some hunting trophies, and the ban on selling puppies in pet shops. The puppy mill sales ban (bill S.1130, sponsored by Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris), prohibits the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits by retail pet shops. This bill was passed on 10th May 2022 by the Senate and was passed by the Assembly on 3rd June.

Sen. Michael Gianaris, said, “this is a very big deal. New York tends to be a big purchaser and profiteer of these mills, and we are trying to cut off the demand at a retail level.” California also passed a similar law in 2017, becoming the first state to ban sales of cats and dogs in pet shops. Then, in 2020, Maryland followed suit and in 2021 Illinois banned pet shops from selling commercially raised puppies and kittens. In June 2022, Dallas City Council, in the US southern state of Texas, also passed an ordinance to ban the sale of puppies and kittens in pet shops. Other countries, such as France, have similar bans.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.