Governor Signs Bill Outlawing Pet Tattoos and Piercings

December 15, 2014 Updated: October 8, 2018

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill outlawing cosmetic tattoos and piercings on pet animals Monday.

Pet owners who break the law will be punished with up to 15 days in jail or a fine up to $250.

The bill restricts tattoos and piercings to only identification purposes, such as ear tags on rabbits, or when the procedure has a medical benefit for the animal.

Assembly member Linda Rosenthal first introduced the bill in the New York State Assembly in January 2013.

Lauren Schuster, Rosenthal’s chief of staff, said the assembly member introduced the legislation after hearing about a woman who was piercing kittens and selling them on the Internet as “gothic.”

Senator Tom Libous introduced the Senate version of the bill in March.

“While people can decide whether they would like to undergo the pain associated with a tattoo or piercing, animals do not have that luxury,” said Rosenthal in a press statement on Monday.

“Subjecting animals to painful cosmetic procedures, such as tattooing and piercing, merely to satisfy an individual’s misguided and selfish aesthetic predilections, is inhumane and should be considered cruelty by the law.”

The law will take effect in 120 days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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