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The New York Senate has passed a ban on “debarking” – a veterinary practice also known as bark softening. Senate Bill 142 would prohibit veterinarians from performing this procedure unless it is medically necessary to treat an injury, illness, or congenital defect.

Senate Bill 142 has now been referred to the Assembly Agriculture Committee but has not been scheduled for a hearing.  AKC Government Relations has been in contact with the Chairwoman, but it is important that she and the committee also hear from New York dog owners concerned with this legislation (Scroll down for contact information).

AKC opposes Senate Bill 142, which would restrict the rights of responsible dog owners to make viable, safe decisions on behalf of their pets in conjunction with their veterinarians.  It also could force some owners to relinquish their dogs to shelters as opposed to keeping them in their home.

View AKC’s previous alert, as well as the key issues page in AKC’s Legislative Action Center for talking points and more information on this issue.

How to Contact the Assembly Agriculture Committee:
Use the below information to contact the committee.  If you are a constituent, be sure to mention that when contacting them:

Donna Lupardo (Chair – Binghamton)

Didi Barrett (Hudson)

Ken Blankenbush (Carthage)

Marianne Buttenschon (Utica)

Catalina Cruz (Queens)

Brian Cunningham (Brooklyn)

Michael Fitzpatrick (Smithtown)

Christopher Friend (Big Flats)

Aileen Gunther (Monticello)

Stephen Hawley (Albion)

Billy Jones (Plattsburgh)

Dr. Anna Kelles (Ithaca)

John Lemondes (Auburn)

Brian Miller (New Hartford)

Steven Raga (Queens)

Linda Rosenthal (Manhattan)

Angelo Santabarbara (Schenectady)

Amanda Septimo (Bronx)

Al Stirpe (North Syracuse)

Chris Tague (Schoharie)

Jaime Williams (Brooklyn)

Carrie Woerner (Saratoga Springs)

Stefani Zinerman (Brooklyn)

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will continue to closely monitor all legislation impacting New York dog owners and provide updates as they become available. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at