New York Legislation
Born Free USA Position: SUPPORT
Update: This bill failed to pass before the session ended.
Amends Section 370 of the agriculture and markets law to prohibit the private ownership of dangerous animals and reptiles, which reinforces the ban on exotic animals already enacted in Section 11 of the NY Environmental Conservation Law.
This bill also strengthens the penalty for a person whose exotic “pet” attacks another person. It removes the phrase “who shall fail to exercise due care in safeguarding the public from attack by such wild animal or reptile,” thereby making the owner responsible regardless of circumstances. It also changes the penalty from a misdemeanor to a class E felony.
Owning exotic animals as pets is inherently risky, and individuals who endanger others by owning these “pets” deserve to be held responsible. While it is illegal for private citizens to acquire exotic “pets” in New York, those in possession of these animals at the time that Section 370 went into effect were able to apply for a permit and keep them. Therefore, management of privately owned exotic animals is still necessary, and strict penalties are important to ensure that owners take precautions. Check out our exotic incidents database to see the risk that exotic “pets” pose to public health and safety.