ALERT: New York shipping ban - Feb 5, 2021

This bill has broad sweeping negative impacts on many animal interest groups including farmers, bird breeders, reptile keepers, mammal breeders, and more. New York Assembly Bill 4611 (A04611) was introduced on February 4. This bill seeks to ban the shipping of all mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. This includes shipments into and from the state (both import and export). Per the bill, shipping via any “mail carrier” will be banned which includes the commonly utilized overnight services from major carriers such as FedEx and UPS (for verified shippers). A04611 was assigned to the Assembly Agriculture Committee. Fines can be $1,000 per violation. Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal introduced the bill and she sits on the assigned Agriculture Committee. The Committee members must be made aware of the broad sweeping repercussions of this bill and informed of the many shipping regulations, restrictions, and safeguards already in place.

You can read the bill at Bill Search and Legislative Information | New York State Assembly.

Email list:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Full contact details can be found at Standing Committee on Agriculture |Committees | New York State Assembly. Just click on a name to bring up more information.

What to do

Begin contacting the Agriculture Committee members ASAP.
It is especially helpful if an Agriculture. Committee member represents you. Then you can include “I am your constituent in District (insert your district number).” You can find your Assemblymember at Assembly Member Search | New York State Assembly and then simply click “Committee Membership” to see if he/she is on the Agriculture Committee. Even if he/she is not, you may still contact your Assemblyperson about this bill.
We have an email list above.
You should also call if your Assemblymember is on the Committee.
Fax and mail letters, too.
Sample letter
Please personalize and edit
Remember to be professional and civil at all times

Email subject line: NO to A04611

Agriculture Committee Members,

I oppose Assembly Bill 4611 (A04611) as an animal welfare advocate and animal owner. Please allow me to inform you regarding the many regulations already in place to protect animals. Stringent policies are already in place by shipping companies, as well as various federal and state animal welfare laws.

First, mail carriers already prohibit the shipment of many animals. The United States Postal Services (USPS) prohibits the shipping of mammals, most birds, turtles, and snakes. The United Parcel Service (UPS) does not allow shipments of mammals, birds, or snakes. Other companies have various restrictions and certifications. For example, FedEx requires that you have a Live Reptile Certification in order to ship live reptiles.

If a carrier does allow for the shipment of certain live animals, there are stringent policies and laws in place. These include but are not limited to:

Containers must meet construction standards;
Proper ventilation;
Veterinary health certificates and inspections;
Use of heat/cold packs during certain weather conditions;
International Air Transport Association (IATA) standards;
International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) standards;
Labeling requirements;
Internal packaging requirements;
The federal Lacey Act.
Not only are all of these regulations already in place, but shipments are required to be done as timely as possible. When reptiles are shipped, they are delivered to the carrier or picked up late in the day and then delivered early the following day. The travel time is always less than 24 hours, and typically closer to 12 hours. Animals also are not shipped during temperature extremes as various thresholds for animal safety are applicable (too hot/too cold).

The shipping of live animals is a serious matter, is not unregulated, and is not taken lightly by either the shippers or the carriers. For those who do ship animals, protections and safeguards for those animals are numerous.

I hope you oppose and stop A04611. It is a misguided bill attempting to fix a problem that does not exist due to so many protections already existing. A04611 is bad for New York, the residents, and the animals. Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter. Have a good day.



Bill Text

February 4, 2021

    Introduced  by  M.  of  A. L. ROSENTHAL -- read once and referred to the
      Committee on Agriculture

    AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to  prohib-
      iting the shipment of certain live animals by postal mail

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

 1    Section 1. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a  new
 2  section 382 to read as follows:
 3    §  382. Prohibition of the shipping of live animals by postal mail. 1.
 4  It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, partnership or corporation to
 5  mail or offer for mailing a live animal by postal mail  into  or  within
 6  the  state  of  New York or from the state of New York to points outside
 7  the state of New York.  As used in this  section,  "live  animal"  shall
 8  mean  any  mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian. "Postal mail" shall mean
 9  mail that is processed and delivered by the United States postal service
10  or other mail carrier.  A person, firm, partnership or corporation shall
11  be considered to have mailed or offered for mailing  a  live  animal  in
12  violation  of this section when such person, firm, partnership or corpo-
13  ration causes such live animal and applicable postage or shipping fee to
14  be physically placed in the  possession  of  the  United  States  postal
15  service or other mail carrier.
16    2.  A violation of this section shall be punishable by a civil penalty
17  not to exceed one thousand dollars.  Each such violation shall be deemed
18  a separate violation with respect to each animal mailed or  offered  for
19  mailing.
20    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.