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NY Debarking Ban Advances to Full Assembly: Contact Your Assemblymembers to Oppose

(Thursday, February 28, 2013)

Assembly Bill 1204, which would outlaw the veterinary surgery commonly called “debarking” or “bark softening”, has passed the Assembly Codes Committee and is expected to be considered by the full New York Assembly very soon.

The AKC opposes this measure, which would restrict the rights of responsible dog owners to make viable, safe decisions on behalf of their pets in conjunction with their veterinarians.

There is much misinformation about the veterinary surgical procedure of debarking. 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.

New York residents are urged help ensure that this surgery can remain safe and legal by contacting their State Assemblymember and expressing concerns with Assembly Bill 1204. To find the name and contact information for your New York State Assemblymember, click here and type in your address. A full list of Assemblymember e-mail addresses can be found here.

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

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.