Legislation would prohibit animal piercing and tattooing except for identification or medical purposes
State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-I-60, today announced he is co-sponsoring a bill that would ban the piercing or permanent tattooing of companion animals. He said subjecting pets to body piercing or tattooing is a cruel act that falls under the category of animal abuse.
"This practice needs to stop," Grisanti said. "Animals do not have the ability to make decisions on whether or not to get a tattoo or body piercing, but we as human beings can do the right thing and make it illegal for pet owners to tattoo or pierce their pets."
According to the language of the bill (S.6769), body piercing of a pet would only be allowed for medical purposes, while animal tattoos would only be permitted if it is determined a permanent mark on the skin is needed for a medical benefit or would be used strictly for identification purposes. Violations would carry fines of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
"I believe that, if given the choice, animals would decline to (have) themselves undergo a painful procedure of being either tattooed or pierced," Grisanti said. "On a number of different levels, this practice is a selfish act by a pet owner. No matter how you look at it, this is animal cruelty and we must do what we can to protect our dogs, cats and other pets from being put through that type of discomfort."
The bill, which has the support of the Humane Society of New York and various other animal rights organizations in the state, is another example of Grisanti's ongoing efforts to give who he calls our "four-legged friends" a voice in Albany. Over the past three years, Grisanti has advocated for legislation that protects pets and punishes animal abusers, including the creation of an animal abuser central registry, "Phoenix's Law" and the newly enacted law that gives localities the power to regulate puppy mills across the state.
The month of April is Animal Cruelty Prevention Month.