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The NY Assembly is expected to vote soon on a bill that would ban “debarking” – a veterinary practice also known as bark softening – in the state unless it is medically necessary to treat an injury, illness, or congenital defect. 

The AKC opposes A1679, which would restrict the rights of responsible dog owners to make viable, safe decisions on behalf of their pets in conjunction with their veterinarians.  The bill already passed the Assembly in 2015, although it was held in the Senate Agriculture Committee. For this reason, the bill could move forward very quickly in 2016.   

Those who reside or participate in events in New York are encouraged to contact the Assembly and ask them to oppose Assembly Bill 1679. Visit the AKC’s Legislative Action Center and type your address in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box to find the name and contact information for your State Assemblymember.  A full list of Assemblymember e-mail addresses may be found here.

Talking Points:

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.

Visit the AKC Government Relations Legislative Action Center for AKC’s official position on this issue, as well as other talking points.

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.

The NY Assembly is expected to vote soon on a bill that would ban “debarking” – a veterinary practice also known as bark softening – in the state unless it is medically necessary to treat an injury, illness, or congenital defect.

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