A04609 Summary:

SPONSORRosenthal L
Add §382, Ag & Mkts L
Establishes that animals are sentient beings capable of experiencing pain, stress, and fear and establishes an animal can be a victim of a crime.
Go to top    

A04609 Actions:

02/04/2021referred to agriculture
01/05/2022referred to agriculture
Go to top

A04609 Committee Votes:

Go to top

A04609 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
Go to top

A04609 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Rosenthal L
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to estab- lishing animals as sentient beings   PURPOSE: This legislation will elevate the status of animals under the law, beyond property, recognizing them as sentient beings entitled to humane treatment.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one amends the agriculture and markets law by adding a new section 382. Section two establishes the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Despite their ability to feel and experience a range of emotions, animals have historically been considered property under the law in the United States. Their status as property has limited the legal protections afforded to them, creating situations where individuals often face harsher punishment for committing crimes against property than they do for committing crimes against animals. For example, setting fire to a car in New York State is a class C felony, whereas setting fire to an animal is a class E felony, the lowest level felony possible. More than 30 countries around the world already recognize animals as sentient beings under the law, but the concept has not been widely adopted yet in the United States. Following a series of court cases in Oregon which found that animals are sentient beings and therefore enti- tled to a higher level of care than other pieces of property, the Oregon state legislature passed a law codifying animals' sentience. There is a long-established link between cruelty to animals and violence against humans. We must enforce animal cruelty laws for the sake of animal protection, not simply to make an owner whole following a crime to their "property". This legislation would declare animals as sentient beings in New York State and establish that they are considered the victims in animal cruelty crimes.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
Go to top

A04609 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 4, 2021
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. L. ROSENTHAL -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Agriculture
        AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation  to  estab-
          lishing animals as sentient beings
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a  new
     2  section 382 to read as follows:
     3    § 382. Animals as sentient beings.  The Legislature finds and declares
     4  that  animals  are sentient beings capable of experiencing pain, stress,
     5  and fear. It is the policy of New York that, in order to protect animals
     6  from experiencing pain, stress, or fear at human hands, animals  are  to
     7  be  treated  humanely.  For that reason, animals shall be considered the
     8  victims of animal cruelty crimes and shall be treated as such in a court
     9  of law.
    10    § 2.  This act shall take effect immediately.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
Go to top