As a vegan and animal rights advocate for many years, I believe that all living creatures are deserving of certain rights, dignity, and protection by the law. For too long we have allowed big animal agriculture companies to profit by the abuse, exploitation, and commodification of animals. We can create a state where human beings and animals safely coexist without exploitation and abuse. To do this we must institute legislation that establishes legal rights, safety and protections for wildlife, farm animals, and domestic animals.
AS A STATE SENATOR, I WILL FIGHT TO:
- Ban on commercial sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits. New York should join California, Maryland and Maine in banning the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits at retail establishments by passing State Senate Bill S4234A. There are simply too many good animals in need of rescue to allow puppy mills to profit off of the abuse, cruelty and mass production of animals. To that end, this bill prohibits the sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits by for-profit retail stores.
- Ban on the sale and manufacture of new fur apparel. Last year California became the first state to ban the sale and manufacture of new clothing and accessories made of fur. Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom and many other countries have also banned fur production. It is time for New York to pass similar legislation.
- Outlaw cruel animal farming practices. In the United States today there is no major legislation protecting animals from cruel, callous treatment in factory farms. Without proper protections, factory farmers are able to engage in and normalize inhumane methods of animal agriculture such as castration, confinement, and debeaking. Humane labeling terms offer peace of mind, but they are not meaningfully defined or enforced, and suppliers often manipulate intentional loopholes in these loosely interpreted standards. It is wrong to subject animals to unnecessary harm and as a state senator I will pursue legislation that puts an end to these practices.
- Redirect dairy subsidies into programs for farmers exiting the dairy industry. A worldwide surplus of milk has driven down the price farmers receive to the point where dairy farmers are more at risk of suicide than any other agricultural worker. I will advocate redirecting state funding away from subsidies and toward a program for farmers seeking to exit the industry. This will not only allow farmers to exit an often immoral and unsafe system, but will also break the cycle which is creating surplus and contributing to needless deaths.
- Teach humane education in schools. In New York, state law requires that elementary school children receive humane instruction every week, but how and how much is extremely vague. It is never too early to start teaching kindness, whether to animals or people.
- End classroom incubation projects. Chickens are family oriented, possess complex social bonds and are able to recognize over 100 faces even after months of separation. When they’re used as teaching tools, they lose out on basic natural processes performed by their mother and siblings. In addition, studies have shown that chicks used in classrooms have carried E. coli and four different strains of salmonella. We should end this dangerous practice.
- Ban traveling rodeos from performing in New York. Rodeo events often involve cruel, painful, and potentially harmful treatment of animals. Events performed at rodeos frequently entail provoking normally docile animals, through intense pain, into becoming agitated and aggressive. California, Rhode Island, and Nevada, have all passed laws that ban or tightly regulate rodeo events, and New York should be next.
- Cease the slaughter of animals in live animal markets. Live animal markets allow customers to shop directly from cages of live animals, which are then slaughtered and butchered on site. Reports detail the poor conditions found in many markets. As a senator I will support S8291, which places a moratorium on the operation of live markets in New York State and establish a task force to examine the public health risks and animal welfare concerns they present.
- Banning on wildlife-killing contests. Wildlife killing contests are organized events where participants kill animals for a prize. These contests are legal, unregulated, and unless a law specifies otherwise, impose no limits on the total number of animals that may be killed. Competitions such as these are inhumane and provide incentive to needlessly killing animals for glory, prizes or titles. As a senator I will support and sponsor S7542, which bans these contests.
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