In their first action since taking office, newly installed New York City Council members have voted to override a veto by former mayor Michael Bloomberg, passing a law to establish a citywide animal abuse registry. The health committee, which voted unanimously on the legislation, says the registry will allow for better monitoring of convicted animal abusers and prevent them from living with pets.
"If a society is judged based upon how it treats its most vulnerable, then this bill is a giant leap in the right direction," Vincent Gentile, a health committee councilman and one of the bill's original co-sponsors, said in a statement. "This law will effectively create a registry listing anyone who has been convicted of animal abuse or cruelty and all persons included on this registry would be prohibited from owning an animal."
Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to pass the bill, after having gained the support of animal welfare groups during his campaign, which prioritized putting an end to New York's horse carriage industry. With de Blasio's support, pet shops, animal shelters, and animal welfare organizations such as the ASPCA and Humane Society will be able to use the registry.