Veterinarian Reporting of Animal Abuse Required Under New Law

On October 30, Governor Hochul signed a bill into law that was supported by the City Bar’s Animal Law Committee which will mandate the reporting by veterinarians of suspected animal abuse. The new law changes two words in Section 6714 of the Education Law to require, rather than permit, veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse to the authorities. The rationale for mandatory animal abuse reporting parallels the rationale for mandated reporting of child abuse: veterinarians have professional knowledge that helps them identify potential animal abuse or neglect, and may also be one of the only witnesses to such abuse or neglect and/or one of the only ones in a position to report it. Mandatory reporting of animal abuse also protects humans: numerous studies have demonstrated the connection between animal maltreatment and interpersonal violence, including child abuse, elder abuse and domestic violence. We applaud Governor Hochul for signing this bill and thank the bill sponsors — Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and Senator Michael Gianaris — for their ongoing commitment to animal protection issues. 

For a full list of bills supported by the City Bar during the 2021 NYS Legislative Session that have been enacted to date, click here.