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Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 
 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 Amendment of Article 161 relating to animal nuisances

The Department’s Bureau of Veterinary and Pest Control Services enforces Health Code Article 161 concerning the control of animals in the City.  Section 161.03(a) of Article 161 previously required that pet owners control their pets so that they do not “commit a nuisance on a sidewalk of any public place, on a floor, wall, stairway or roof of any public or private premises used in common by the public, or on a fence, wall or stairway of a building abutting on a public place.”

The Board now clarifies that this provision applies to any area used in common by the public, regardless of whether it is publicly or privately owned.   

 Statutory Authority

These amendments to Article 161of the New York City Health Code are authorized by sections 556, 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter.  Section 556(c)(2) authorizes the Department to exercise control over and supervise the abatement of nuisances affecting or likely to affect the public health.  Sections 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board of Health to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the Department’s authority extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rulemaking authority. 

 

 

Effective Date: 
Fri, 10/21/2016

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:2)

Agency:
Comment By: 
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Proposed Rules Content: 
 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

             The Department’s Bureau of Veterinary and Pest Control Services enforces Health Code Article 161 pertaining to the control of animals in the City.  Section 161.03(a) of Article 161 currently requires that pet owners control their pets so that they do not commit a nuisance on a “sidewalk of any public place, on a floor, wall, stairway or roof of any public or private premises used in common by the public, or on a fence, wall or stairway of a building abutting on a public place.”

             A question arose recently as to whether the provision applies to sidewalks and lawns in large residential communities in the City that are open to and used by the public as well as the residents of the local community. The Department is asking the Board to clarify that this provision applies to any area used in common, outdoor or indoor and regardless of whether it is publicly or privately owned.  

Statutory Authority

             These amendments to the New York City Health Code (the Health Code) are authorized by sections 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the Charter).  Sections 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board of Health (the Board) to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the Department) extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rulemaking authority. 

 

 

Subject: 

Proposed resolution to amend Article 161 (Animals) to clarify applicability of section 161.03 of the New York City Health Code.

Location: 
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Gotham Center
42-09 28th Street 14th Floor, Room 14-43
Queens, NY 11101
Contact: 

Svetlana Burdeynik at (347) 396-6078 or resolutioncomments@health.nyc.gov

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 


Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority

These amendments to the New York City Health Code (the “Health Code”) are authorized by sections 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the “Charter”).  Sections 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board of Health (the “Board”) to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department”) extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rulemaking authority. 

 

Background

 

The Department’s Bureau of Veterinary and Pest Control Services enforces Health Code Article 161 pertaining to the control of animals in the City.  Article 161 currently requires pet shops other than those selling dogs and cats to have permits and to comply with other provisions of the Health Code.  The N.Y. State Agriculture and Markets Law Article 26-A (“Care of Animals by Pet Dealers”) formerly prohibited local regulation of “pet dealers,” defined in such State law as an entity that sells more than nine animals (dogs and/or cats) to the public per year. See Agriculture and Markets Law §§400 subdivisions (1) and (4) and 400-a.  Effective January 10, 2014, this law was amended and a new §407 authorizes local regulation of these entities, provided that the local law is no less stringent than Article 26-A or effectively results in banning of all sales of dogs or cats “raised and maintained in a healthy and safe manner.”

 

On January 17, 2015, Local Law 5 of 2015 was enacted, and on June 2, 2015 was further amended by Local Law 53. Read together, Title 17 of the New York City Administrative Code now authorizes the Department to regulate pet shops selling dogs and cats, and Administrative Code § 17-372 requires such pet shops to hold permits issued by the Commissioner of the Department.  The law was to have become effective June 1, 2015, but was stayed on that date as a result of a challenge in the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of New York by certain pet shops and animal dealers. On October 20, 2015 it was upheld by the court and is therefore now in effect. An appeal filed after publication of the notice of intention to amend the Health Code is currently pending.   

 

The Board of Health is amending provisions of Article 161 that explicitly state that they are not applicable to sales of dogs and cats by pet dealers regulated under Article 26-A of the Agriculture and Markets Law, since pet shops selling these animals are again being regulated by the Department.  Pet shops selling only animals other than dogs and/or cats continue to be regulated by the Department and none of these amendments substantively affect those pet shops. In conjunction with these amendments, the permit fees and expiration dates set forth in Health Code Article 5 are also amended to be consistent with the fees set forth in the new Administrative Code  §17-374.

 

Effective Date: 
Mon, 07/18/2016

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Proposed Rules Content: 
 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority

 

These amendments to the New York City Health Code (the Health Code) are authorized by sections 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the Charter).  Sections 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board of Health (the Board) to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the Department) extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rulemaking authority. 

Background

The Department’s Bureau of Veterinary and Pest Control Services enforces Health Code Article 161 pertaining to the control of animals in the City.  Article 161 currently requires pet shops other than those selling dogs and cats to have permits and to comply with other provisions of the Health Code.  The N.Y. State Agriculture and Markets Law Article 26-A (“Care of Animals by Pet Dealers”) formerly prohibited local regulation of “pet dealers,” defined in such State law as an entity that sells more than nine animals (dogs and/or cats) to the public per year. See Agriculture and Markets Law §§400 subdivisions (1) and (4) and 400-a.  Effective January 10, 2014, this law was amended and a new §407 authorizes local regulation of these entities, provided that the local law is no less stringent than Article 26-A or effectively results in banning of all sales of dogs or cats “raised and maintained in a healthy and safe manner.”

 

On January 17, 2015, Local Law 5 of 2015 was enacted, and on June 2, 2015 was further amended by Local Law 53. Read together, Title 17 of the New York City Administrative Code now authorizes the Department to regulate pet shops selling dogs and cats. As a result, Administrative Code § 17-372 requires such pet shops to hold permits issued by the Commissioner of the Department.  The law was supposed to have become effective June 1, 2015, but was stayed on that date as a result of a challenge in the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of New York by certain pet shops and animal dealers. On October 20, 2015 it was upheld by the court and is therefore now in effect.   

 

Amendments to Health Code Articles 5 and 161

 

The Department is requesting that the Board of Health amend those provisions of Article 161 that currently explicitly state that they are not applicable to sales of dogs and cats by pet dealers regulated under Article 26-A of the Agriculture and Markets Law, since pet shops selling these animals are again regulated by the Department.  Pet shops selling only animals other than dogs and/or cats continue to be regulated by the Department and none of the proposed changes would substantively affect those pet shops. In conjunction with these amendments, the Department is proposing that the permit fees and expiration dates set forth in Health Code Article 5 also be amended to be consistent with the fees set forth in the new Administrative Code  §17-374.

The resolution is as follows.

Shall and must denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably.

 

 

Subject: 

Proposed resolution to amend Article 161(Animals) and Article 5 (Permits) of the New York City Health Code regarding pet shops.

Location: 
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Gotham Center
42-09 28th Street 14th Floor, Room 14-43
Queens, NY 11101
Contact: 

Svetlana Burdeynik at (347) 396-6078 or resolutioncomments@health.nyc.gov

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority 

            These amendments to the New York City Health Code (the Health Code) are authorized by sections 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the Charter).  Sections 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board of Health (the Board) to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the Department) extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.  

Background 

The Department’s Bureau of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, which enforces Article 161 pertaining to the control of animals in the City, has requested that the Board  amend various  provisions of Article 161 and Article 11 of the Health Code related to animal control. 

Amendments to Health Code §161.01(a)—circuses and other animal exhibitions 

Health Code §161.01 prohibits the possession of wild and other animals that present hazards to human health and safety.  Subdivision (a) allows for certain exceptions and requires permits for temporary exhibitions, displays and other uses of prohibited animals.  Circuses and wildlife rehabilitators are currently exempt from this section’s permit requirements, and while many voluntarily obtain permits from the Department, they are not obligated to do so.  

Recently, the Department identified some circuses and a wildlife rehabilitator who intended to exhibit or use animals to entertain the public in settings that were not safe.  In one instance, circus animals had not been tested to rule out infection with a disease that could be transferred to humans. In other instances, circus animals were kept in enclosures that either did not adequately protect the public or were too small.  Although circuses are required to comply with the federal Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq., administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this law only imposes limited animal care, animal health and public safety requirements.  In yet another instance, a wildlife rehabilitator proposed to present adult performing bears on a theatre stage without barriers to protect the audience from the animals, and without adequate enclosures for the bears to stay in when they were not performing. The Department was able to use its general nuisance authority to address exhibitions and performances that do not adequately protect the public. 

The Department believes circuses and wildlife rehabilitators should be required to have appropriate measures in place to adequately protect the public; and they should only be permitted to perform in the City if they comply with requirements that the City deems necessary to protect public health and safety.  Federal law does not preempt the local regulation of circuses.[1] Accordingly, the Board has amended subdivision (a) of section 161.01 of the Health Code to require that circuses and wildlife rehabilitators in the City obtain permits from the Department in all cases when they intend to exhibit or use performing animals. 

Amendment to Health Code §§161.21 and 11.29—rabies vaccinations 

In 2010, Health Code §161.21 was amended to require that stables keep current rabies vaccination certificates for the horses they house. The Board is amending this section to require that horses’ owners, as well as the stables where they are kept, maintain proof that their horses are vaccinated. 

Health Code §11.29 is also being amended to: 

  1. Add horses to the list of animals that must be immunized against rabies and
  2. Change the terms “dogs” and “cats” in this section to “animals” to reflect that other animals would be specifically required to be currently vaccinated against rabies.

 Amendment to Health Code §161.02—definitions

The Board is adding a definition for “operating” or “in operation” to clarify that an animal business or facility regulated by the Health Code is required to comply with all of the provisions of the Health Code that apply to it regardless of whether the facility or business is open to the public.      

Amendments to §161.15—vaccinations and prohibition of cage or box dryers

This section currently requires boarding kennels to obtain proof from the owners of the dogs for which they care that the dogs have been vaccinated against rabies and certain other diseases. The Board is amending this section to clarify that this requirement is also applicable to grooming parlors, training establishments and pet shops that provide boarding, grooming or training services for dogs.  In addition, these businesses will need to obtain proof from the owners of cats and other animals subject to rabies for which a rabies vaccine is approved that these animals have been vaccinated against rabies.  In response to comments from operators of grooming parlors that owners of dogs frequently do not have copies of all vaccination documents, and that the grooming parlor must contact veterinarians to get such information, the amendment has been further changed to allow owners of dogs brought in for grooming to attest that their dogs have the required vaccinations and to provide contact information for the veterinarian who vaccinated the dogs. Boarding kennels will continue to require proof of dogs having all required vaccinations. And, since all dog and cat owners must show proof that their animals have current rabies vaccinations, owners will be required to provide this proof, and training and grooming establishments will be required to maintain such proof, for all such animals receiving services. 

The Board is also adding a provision mirroring a State law that prohibits grooming parlors and other facilities that handle small animals from drying an animal using an unattended heating element contained in a cage or box dryer. These types of dryers have been associated with injuries and deaths of pets left unattended during drying. State Agriculture & Markets Law §353-e prohibits use of such devices in grooming facilities; this amendment enables the Department to enforce this ban in the businesses it regulates.

The resolution is as follows.

Shall and must denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably.

 


[1] See, e.g., 7 U.S.C. 2145(b); Dehart v. Town of Austin, 39 F.3d 718, 722 (7th Cir. 1994) (“[T]he Animal Welfare Act expressly contemplates state and local regulation of animals.”)

Effective Date: 
Mon, 04/20/2015

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:95)

Agency:
Comment By: 
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

 

Statutory Authority

 

These amendments to the New York City Health Code (the Health Code) are authorized by sections 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the Charter).  Sections 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board of Health (the Board) to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the Department) extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority. 

 

Background

 

In May 2014, the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene granted a petition from an individual asking that the Board consider amending Article 161 to remove ferrets from the list of animals prohibited as pets in the City of New York.  This proposal would initiate the process of amending the Health Code and begin a public comment period on whether ferret ownership should be legalized. 

 

The Department’s Bureau of Veterinary and Pest Control Services enforces Article 161 pertaining to the control of animals in the City.  It requests that the Board of Health also amend various other provisions of Article 161 and Article 11 of the Health Code related to animal control.

 

Amendments to Health Code §161.01(a)—Circuses and Other Animal Exhibitions

 

Health Code §161.01 prohibits the possession of wild and other animals that present hazards to human health and safety.  Subdivision (a) allows for certain exceptions and requires permits for temporary exhibitions, displays and other uses of prohibited animals.  Circuses and wildlife rehabilitators are currently exempt from this section’s permit requirements, and while many voluntarily obtain permits from the Department, they are not obligated to do so. 

 

Recently, the Department identified some circuses and a wildlife rehabilitator who intended to exhibit or use animals to entertain the public in settings that were not safe.  In one instance, circus animals had not been tested to rule out infection with a disease that could be transferred to humans. In other instances, circus animals were kept in enclosures that either did not adequately protect the public or were too small.  Although circuses are required to comply with the federal Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq., administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this law only imposes limited animal care, animal health and public safety requirements.  In yet another instance, a wildlife rehabilitator proposed to  present adult performing bears on a theatre stage without barriers to protect the audience from the animals, and without adequate enclosures for the bears to stay in when they were not performing. The Department was able to use its general nuisance authority to address exhibitions and performances that do not adequately protect the public.

 

The Department believes circuses and wildlife rehabilitators should be required to have appropriate measures in place to adequately protect the public; and they should only be permitted to perform in the City if they comply with requirements that the City deems necessary to protect public health and safety.  Federal law does not preempt the local

regulation of circuses.[1] The Department therefore requests that the Board amend subdivision (a) of section 161.01 of

 

the Health Code to require that circuses

 

and wildlife rehabilitators in the City obtain permits from the Department in all cases when they intend to exhibit or use performing animals.

 

Amendments to Health Code §§161.01(b)(4)—Prohibited Animals

 

Health Code §161.01(b)(4) currently prohibits persons from harboring ferrets in New York City. Following the procedures described in Health Code §9.05, an individual petitioned the Board of Health to amend Article 161 to remove ferrets from the list of animals that cannot be kept in the City.  By letter dated May 16, 2014, the Commissioner, as the Board’s Chairperson, granted the petition and responded that the Board would consider an amendment to legalize ferrets no later than December 2014.  The proposed amendment would remove the prohibition on keeping domestic ferrets as pets, but would require certain safeguards. The proposed amendment requires that these pets:

  • Be immunized against rabies in accordance with Health Code §11.29;
  • Be sterilized to prevent their reproduction, and
  • Be restrained when outdoors.

The requirement to sterilize is being proposed to prevent an overpopulation of ferrets that could become a burden on the animal shelter system and as a part of responsible pet ownership. Additionally, sterilization may help reduce aggression and musky odor, and provide health benefits to the animal.  The Department is also proposing that this provision be effective September 1, 2015, roughly six months after the expected adoption of this provision, if the Board of Health adopts this proposal, to allow time for government and non-government agencies and property owners to develop and put into effect appropriate policies and guidance.

Amendment to Health Code §§161.21 and 11.29—Rabies Vaccinations

In 2010, Health Code §161.21 was amended to require that stables keep current rabies vaccination certificates for the horses they house. The Department is requesting that the Board further amend this section to require that horses’ owners, as well as the stables where they are kept, maintain proof that their horses are vaccinated.  

 

The Department also proposes that Health Code §11.29 be amended to:

1.     Add ferrets and horses to the list of animals that must be immunized against rabies and

2.      Change the terms “dogs” and “cats” in this section to “animals” to reflect that other animals would be specifically required to be currently vaccinated against rabies.

 

Amendment to Health Code §161.02—Definitions

 

The Department is proposing that the Board add a definition for “operating” or “in operation” to clarify that an animal business or facility regulated by the Health Code is required to comply with all of the provisions of the Health Code that apply to it regardless of whether the facility or business is open to the public.      

 

Amendments to §161.15—Cage or Box Dryers

 

This section currently requires boarding kennels to obtain proof from the owners of the dogs for which they care that the animals have been vaccinated against rabies and certain other diseases. The Department is proposing that the Board amend this section to clarify that this requirement is applicable to grooming parlors and training establishments.  In addition, these businesses would have to obtain proof from the owners of cats and ferrets that these types of animals have been vaccinated against rabies.

 

The Department is also proposing that the Board add a provision mirroring a State law requirement that prohibits grooming parlors and other facilities that handle small animals from drying an animal using the heating element contained in a cage or box dryer. These types of dryers have been associated with injuries and deaths of pets left unattended during drying. State Agriculture & Markets Law §353-e already prohibits their use in grooming facilities; this amendment would enable the Department to enforce this ban in the businesses it regulates.  

This section is being repealed.




[1] See, e.g., 7 U.S.C. 2145(b); Dehart v. Town of Austin, 39 F.3d 718, 722 (7th Cir. 1994) (“[T]he Animal Welfare Act expressly contemplates state and local regulation of animals.”)

 

 

Subject: 

Proposed resolution to amend Animals (Article 161) and Reportable Diseases and Conditions (Article 11) of the New York City Health Code

Location: 
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Gotham Center
42-09 28th Street, Room 3-32
Queens, NY 11101-4132
Contact: 

Svetlana Burdeynik at (347) 396-6078 or resolutioncomments@health.nyc.gov

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf):