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New York Bill Would Prohibit Ear Cropping and Tail Docking
May 2006

As many fanciers are now aware, New York State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef has introduced A. 11242, a bill to prohibit ear cropping and tail docking. We need your help. Inform your fellow club members and other concerned dog owners that it is imperative that all fanciers and concerned dog owners contact lawmakers and urge them to oppose this bill. If you live in New York state, contact your representative and the members of the New York State Agriculture Committee immediately and call for their opposition to this legislation. Even if you don’t live in New York, you can help.

Under A. 11242, a person found guilty of tail docking would be guilty of a misdemeanor and could be sentenced up to one year in jail and/or fined up to $500. Ear cropping would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

In order to show or compete in any event, including conformation, field trials, performance events and companion events, an owner will have to prove that the dog’s tail was docked prior to September 1, 2006, or that the surgery was performed in another state.

Finally, the bill sets up a private right of action that would allow any dog owner or animal rights organization to sue a person who violates this section. Therefore, an animal rights group could sue a breeder, owner or veterinarian under this proposal.

Even fanciers who do not live in New York can influence legislators to oppose this bill because your participation in AKC events affects New York’s economy. In 2005, 382 AKC sanctioned events were conducted in New York with 108,085 different exhibitors. In a recent survey on the economic impact of dog shows, AKC found that individual dog show exhibitors spend an average of $320 per weekend. Based on those numbers, AKC events in New York contributed approximately $35 million to local economies through participants' spending on lodging, food, entertainment and gasoline.

Although this legislation may only affect those whose breeds are cropped and docked, it sets a horrible and dangerous precedent by allowing the government to dictate to owners and veterinarians what medical care is appropriate for our animals. This slippery slope may only address ear cropping and tail docking today, but spaying and neutering, dewclaw removal, and a host of other issues will not be far behind. It is the principle, not just the procedure, to which AKC and responsible fanciers must be opposed. This bill truly affects the rights of all dog owners’, and we need everyone’s help to defeat it.

AKC has established a special Action Center to assist fanciers in their efforts to oppose this dangerous bill. Visit the center for a sample opposition letter, a Call to Action flyer for fanciers to distribute to other concerned dog owners, as well as a host of other information on this topic. We need all voices. Copy and distribute the Call to Action flier at club meetings and events, and write your letter today to defeat A. 11242!