BILL NO A00957
SAME AS S01270
COSPNSR Benedetto, Kavanagh, Paulin, Titone, Raia, Englebright, Weprin, Otis,
DiPietro, Santabarbara, Buchwald
MLTSPNSR Colton, Dinowitz, Glick, Hevesi, Katz, Lifton, Lupardo, McDonald,
McDonough, Perry, Tenney
Amd S353-a, Ag & Mkts L
Includes wildlife animals as those subject to the animal cruelty provisions of
the agriculture and markets law.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A957
SPONSOR: Rosenthal (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in
relation to aggravated cruelty to animals
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This legislation would expand the
existing aggravated cruelty law to cover intentional acts of extreme
cruelty to wildlife as well as companion animals.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one amends Subdivision 1 of section 353-a of the agriculture and
markets law, is amended to expand the existing aggravated cruelty law to
cover intentional acts of extreme cruelty to wildlife as defined in
section 11-0103 of the environmental conservation law. Subdivision 2 of
section 353-a is amended to make it clear that nothing in the legis-
lation would interfere with sound agricultural practices engaged in
pursuant to section 308 of the agriculture and markets law.
Section two sets forth the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: This legislation will extend the coverage of the felony
animal cruelty law to cover wildlife. Since the passage of the felony
animal cruelty statute, there have been a number of egregious cases in
which wild animals have been captured and tortured. This bill would
allow these cases to be prosecuted under the felony animal cruelty stat-
ute. It is important to note that in no way would this change affect the
lawful-hunting or trapping licensed by the Department of Environmental
Conservation or the exercise of activities deemed to be sound agricul-
The stringent standard of proof created by the "aggravating" factors
contained in the felony law -- that require proof of intent to cause
extreme physical pain or that the conduct was especially depraved or
sadistic would remain unchanged, thereby ensuring that only the most
heinous cases of the mistreatment of wild animals are treated as felony
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.238 of 2013-2014 A.1843 of 2011-2012
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after
it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
January 8, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. ROSENTHAL, BENEDETTO, KAVANAGH, PAULIN, TITONE,
RAIA, ENGLEBRIGHT, WEPRIN, OTIS, DiPIETRO, SANTABARBARA -- Multi-Spon-
sored by -- M. of A. COLTON, DINOWITZ, GLICK, HEVESI, KATZ, LIFTON,
LUPARDO, McDONALD, McDONOUGH, PERRY, TENNEY -- read once and referred
to the Committee on Agriculture
AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to aggra-
vated cruelty to animals
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 353-a of the agriculture
2 and markets law, as added by chapter 118 of the laws of 1999, are
3 amended to read as follows:
4 1. A person is guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals when, with no
5 justifiable purpose, he or she intentionally kills or intentionally
6 causes serious physical injury to a companion animal or wildlife, as
7 defined in subdivision six of section 11-0103 of the environmental
8 conservation law, other than insects, with aggravated cruelty. For
9 purposes of this section, "aggravated cruelty" shall mean conduct which:
10 (i) is intended to cause extreme physical pain; or (ii) is done or
11 carried out in an especially depraved or sadistic manner.
12 2. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit or
13 interfere in any way with anyone lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping,
14 or fishing, as provided in article eleven of the environmental conserva-
15 tion law, activities deemed to be sound agricultural practices pursuant
16 to section three hundred eight of this chapter, the dispatch of rabid or
17 diseased animals, as provided in article twenty-one of the public health
18 law, or the dispatch of animals posing a threat to human safety or other
19 animals, where such action is otherwise legally authorized, or any prop-
20 erly conducted scientific tests, experiments, or investigations involv-
21 ing the use of living animals, performed or conducted in laboratories or
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 957 2
1 institutions approved for such purposes by the commissioner of health
2 pursuant to section three hundred fifty-three of this article.
3 § 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
4 have become a law.