NY to Consider Debarking Ban, Other Dog Measures on Tuesday (2/12)

NY to Consider Debarking Ban, Other Dog Measures on Tuesday (2/12)


On Tuesday, February 12, the New York Assembly Agriculture Committee is scheduled to consider multiple bills affecting dog owners. This includes banning the veterinary practice of debarking and clarifying that local governments may enact their own, more stringent laws for “pet dealers” (currently defined in state statute as those who sell more than 9 dogs/year).

New York residents are encouraged to join the American Kennel Club in contacting members of the New York General Assembly Agriculture Committee and express your concerns with these measures.


Assembly Bill 1204:

The AKC opposes this bill, which would ban the practice of debarking.  This restricts the rights of responsible dog owners to make viable, safe decisions on behalf of their pets in conjunction with their veterinarian.  

There is much misinformation about the veterinary procedure known as debarking and the AKC opposes a bans on this procedure. Debarking is a viable veterinary procedure that may allow a dog owner to keep a dog in its loving home rather than to be forced to euthanize or surrender it to a shelter when the pet's noisy behavior continually disrupts the community.

Debarking should only be performed under anesthesia by a qualified veterinarian after behavioral medication efforts to correct a dog’s excessive barking have failed. As with other veterinary medical decisions, the decision to debark a dog is best left to individual owners and their veterinarians.

Talking Points:

Read the AKC’s position statement on debarking

Read AKC’s Issue Analysis: Dispelling the Myths of Cropped Ears, Docked Tails, Dewclaws, and Debarking

View a sample letter to personalize

Assembly Bill 740:

This bill clarifies that counties and municipalities may enact laws, rules, and regulations governing “pet dealers” (defined in current law as those who sell 9 or more dogs/year. Breeders who raise dogs on their residential premises are exempt, so long as they sell under 25 dogs/year).  Under this proposal, such regulations could not be less stringent than state law. If they are more stringent, it is incumbent on the local government to enforce the law.

The AKC is concerned that this could allow for strict, burdensome new laws for those who meet the already low threshold that currently defines “dog dealers” in New York State. It will also likely create a problematic patchwork of varying local laws that will prove difficult to enforce.

What You Can Do:

  • Attend the Assembly Agriculture Committee hearing and express your opposition to AB 1204 and your opinions on AB 740:

    Assembly Agriculture Committee
    Tuesday, February 12, 2013
    9:00 a.m.
    Legislative Office Building, Room 829
    Albany, NY


AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will continue to closely monitor this legislation and provide updates as they become available.  For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.