New York bans tattoos and piercings for pets

New York bans tattoos and piercings for pets
New York pets already have to contend with being dressed up in embarrassing outfits by their owners, but thanks to a new law they won’t have to worry about getting any unwanted tattoos or piercings.

On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new bill into law that will prohibit residents from getting tattoos and piercings for their pets. The bill’s successful passage comes as lawmakers look to clamp down on painful procedures done to animals simply for cosmetic reasons.

When the law takes effect in 119 days, the only types of markings that will be allowed will have to be done in the presence of a veterinarian and must be specifically for health or identification purposes.

"This is animal abuse, pure and simple," Cuomo said. "I'm proud to sign this common-sense legislation and end these cruel and unacceptable practices in New York once and for all."

Those found to be in violation of the law will be subject to criminal penalties, including a fine of up to $250 and 15 days in jail.

“Though it may seem inconceivable that anyone would tattoo or pierce their dog or cat, a quick Internet search reveals that it is a growing trend among some misguided individuals,” said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal to Reuters.

“Humans should not apply their own fashion sense in permanent harm and injury to their animals,” she added to the New York Daily News.

Rosenthal originally introduced the bill back in 2011, following the controversial news that a woman was selling "gothic" kittens with piercings on their bodies online. Photos on social networks depicting tattooed animals also sparked outrage.

"While people can decide whether they would like to undergo the pain associated with a tattoo or piercing, animals do not have that luxury," she said in a press release."Subjecting animals to painful cosmetic procedures, such as tattooing and piercing, merely to satisfy an individual's misguided and selfish aesthetic predilections, is inhumane and should be considered cruelty by the law."