Buster's Law

EXPLANATION—Matter in italics is new; matter in brackets [ ] is
old law to be omitted.


AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to aggra-
vated cruelty to animals

Became a law June 28, 1999, with the approval of the Governor.
Passed by a majority vote, three-fifths being present.

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
bly, do enact as follows:

Section 1. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new
section 353-a to read as follows:
§ 353-a. Aggravated cruelty to animals. 1. A person is guilty of
aggravated cruelty to animals when, with no justifiable purpose, he or
she intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury
to a companion animal with aggravated cruelty. For purposes of this
section, "aggravated cruelty" shall mean conduct which: (i) is intended
to cause extreme physical pain; or (ii) is done or carried out in an
especially depraved or sadistic manner.
2. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit or
interfere in any way with anyone lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping,
or fishing, as provided in article eleven of the environmental conserva-
tion law, the dispatch of rabid or diseased animals, as provided in
article twenty-one of the public health law, or the dispatch of animals
posing a threat to human safety or other animals, where such action is
otherwise legally authorized, or any properly conducted scientific
tests, experiments, or investigations involving the use of living
animals, performed or conducted in laboratories or institutions approved
for such purposes by the commissioner of health pursuant to section
three hundred fifty-three of this article.
3. Aggravated cruelty to animals is a felony. A defendant convicted of
this offense shall be sentenced pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision
one of section 55.10 of the penal law provided, however, that any term
of imprisonment imposed for violation of this section shall be a defi-
nite sentence, which may not exceed two years.
§ 2. Subdivision 5 of section 350 of the agriculture and markets law,
as added by chapter 256 of the laws of 1997, is amended to read as
5. "Companion animal" or "pet" means [a ] any dog[, ] or cat, [or ] and
shall also mean any other domesticated animal normally maintained in or
near the household of the owner or person who cares for such [dog, cat
or ] other domesticated animal. "Pet" or "companion animal" shall not
include a "farm animal" as defined in this section.
§ 3. This act shall take effect November 1, 1999.

The Legislature of the STATE OF NEW YORK ss:
Pursuant to the authority vested in us by section 70-b of the Public
Officers Law, we hereby jointly certify that this slip copy of this
session law was printed under our direction and, in accordance with such
section, is entitled to be read into evidence.

Temporary President of the Senate Speaker of the Assembly

Page last updated July 23, 2003