Two years ago I wrote a blog about tattoos, earrings, and other body modifications on pets. I'm very much against such things, as they are medically unnecessary, carry some risks, create unnecessary pain, and are purely for the owner's satisfaction. And it looks like the government of the state of New York is also against them.
This morning I came across an article on the NPR website announcing that New York just passed a law banning the tattooing of pets. Politically I'm a Conservative with some Libertarian leanings (I don't even want to call myself a Republican anymore because I'm as ticked off at them as with Democrats on most issues). This means that I don't think we need a bunch of laws telling us what to do or not to do. I believe in minimalist government, just as much as is necessary to keep people safe, prevent abuses, protect our country and citizens, and regulate international relations. However, I think that this law is a good one, as are laws regulating pet breeding to help prevent "puppy mills". Earrings and tattoos, as well as any surgical/modification procedure that is done for purely cosmetic purposes is borderline animal cruelty. And yes, I include ear crops and similar common procedures in that category (I'm sure I'm going to get some flack for that statement, but I won't back down).
Pets have emotions, feel pain, and develop relationships with their humans. Forcing them to undergo procedures like this isn't any different in my mind that having a three year old child to get a tattoo. And for the record, I disagree with a child having pierced ears until they are old enough to make the decision for themselves (yes, I'm looking at the folks who have their infant's ears pierced, and yes, I'm sure I'm going to get someone yelling at me for judging them. Deal with it.). While I don't believe in animal rights, I'm a big supporter of animal welfare (don't know the difference between the two? Check out this link, and this link.), so I can fully support a law improving the health and condition of pets while reducing their pain. I don't want too many laws regulating every aspect of our lives in the US, but I'm in agreement of this one. People who have their pets tattooed and pierced are only thinking of themselves, not their animal companions.
Good job New York! Now let's see other state legislatures do the same thing.