Inspired by the 2010 passage of Logan's Law, prohibiting devocalization of dogs and cats in Massachusetts, Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski introduced similar legislation in New York State.
With input from the Animal Law Coalition and Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets, Assemblyman Zebrowski drafted solid legislation. The Assembly passed it. But when it was opposed by the New York State Veterinary Medical Society--though many concerned vets endorsed it--Senate leaders refused to bring it to the floor for a vote.
It was reintroduced, at great risk to animals.
LOBBYING FOR THIS LAW IS PLAYING WITH FIRE...AND IT WILL BURN ANIMALS Though the Assembly passed the devocalization ban again in 2014, lawmakers have advised Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets and our NYS partner, Animal Advocates of Western New York, that:
The Senate will NOT step on the toes of the veterinary lobby, which is fighting to keep devocalization legal. Last year's experience with this legislation supports that.
If misguided animal advocates continue pushing for passage of the law, Senators may feel their hands are tied and pass it.
The problem for animals is that lawmakers say the ONLY way the law will pass is if amendments are added. Appeasing the veterinary lobby, which profits from surgical procedures--even those like devocalization, that have no therapeutic value--means these amendments will allow and LEGITIMIZE DEVOCALIZATION.
A LAW WITH AMENDMENTS LIKE THESE IS WORSE FOR ANIMALS THAN NO LAW Destructive amendments are rarely obvious. They're a sneaky way for lawmakers to appease the veterinary lobby by not really banning devocalization AND placate humane--but uninformed--animal advocates who think they've passed a good law.
Loopholes can be added any time, even on the floor during the final vote.
Click HERE to read about provisions that, if introduced, will not only allow this cruel convenience surgery to continue--they will mainstream it.
WHAT THE LAW WOULD PROHIBIT IF PASSED WITHOUT AMENDMENTS If it becomes law as originally written, the proposed devocalization ban would prohibit vocal cord surgery on dogs and cats when performed to alter the animal's voice.
But lawmakers caution that the chance of the legislation passing in this form, as an enforceable law, is slim to none.
While animal shelters, advocacy groups and concerned vets support prohibiting vocal cord surgery as behavioral intervention, veterinary associations, which protect their members' business interests, oppose an enforceable ban.
Some vets perform this inhumane convenience surgery. Others don't want to be restricted from any procedure they choose on helpless patients. They're afraid banning devocalization could lead to prohibition of other inhumane, unnecessary surgeries such as declawing, cropping and docking.
WHAT THE LAW WOULD ALLOW IF PASSED IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM Vocal cord surgery for the only reason rescuers and humane veterinary professionals consider ethical would remain legal--that is to treat a physical illness, injury or birth defect causing the animal medical harm. This is humane legislation!