New York City took another step towards the protection of animals across the city on Monday, with Mayor Bill de Blasio signing off on a new law.
The bill covers an array of topics, mostly in relation to the welfare of birds, horses and dogs. The legislation establishes an Office of Animal Welfare, increases the reporting of animal cruelty and promotes animal shelter adoptions above shopping for pets. Additionally, wild birds can no longer be trafficked and the working conditions for carriage horses – often seen as a symbolic issue in the city – will be improved.
“I’m proud to sign this legislation that further solidifies our commitment to the humane and fair treatment of animals across our city,” Mayor de Blasio stated in a press release. “I look forward to continuing our work with elected officials and communities to protect animals and build on New York City’s leadership in animal rights.”
Another hallmark of the bill is the prohibition of the sale of foie gras, which was originally part of its own legislation that was expected to pass several weeks ago.
Mayor de Blasio has often targeted animal rights during his administration. ‘Meatless Mondays’ were his brainchild, as every public school in NYC serves vegetarian meals for lunch on Mondays. Moreover, nearly $100 million has been invested in improving shelters across the city.
As for the new Office of Animal Rights, the mayor will appoint a director who will spearhead a department that will “advise and assist the Mayor in interagency coordination and cooperation related to animal welfare administration, regulation, management, and programs.”