guinea pig

New York City Bans the Retail Sale of Guinea Pigs!



World Animal Protection is working to pass retail pet sales bans across the country.

On April 11, 2023, New York City banned the retail sale of guinea pigs! The new law will protect countless animals from suffering and adds to the growing number of cities moving to end the sale of animals in pet stores. The initiative was spearheaded by Voters for Animal Rights, a group focused on political advocacy for animals in New York, and supported by World Animal Protection.

Pet Store Sales Hurt Animals

Animals sold in stores generally come from animal mills where large numbers of birds, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, and others are bred in unsanitary, crowded conditions before being shipped in crates and boxes to pet stores. The industry’s goal is to produce as many animals as cheaply as possible.

World Animal Protection testified before New York City council members about the horrifying conditions in mills, including at Holmes Farm, an infamous small mammal mill. Holmes Farm housed more than 15,000 animals, supplying guinea pigs and other small mammals to pet stores such as PetSmart and Petco. Animals were killed with carbon dioxide or left to die in freezers even as some tried to escape. US Department of Agriculture inspections documented numerous Animal Welfare Act violations including decomposing animals, filthy cages, cannibalization, and animals in desperate need of veterinary care. These animals included guinea pigs whose bodies were covered in scabs and whose eyes were crusted shut.

Animal mills like Holmes Farm exist because pet stores buy from them. Stopping the sale of animals in stores cuts off mills’ revenue source and ends the cruelty.

Retail Sales Bans Expand Beyond Puppies

More than 400 cities and counties and several states have laws prohibiting the retail sale of certain animals. Overwhelmingly, these laws apply to dogs, cats, and sometimes rabbits. But that’s beginning to change as awareness grows about how all animals suffer when they are sold in pet stores. At the end of last year, Washington DC banned the retail sale of almost all animals, specifically mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and arachnids. Last fall, Attleboro, Massachusetts banned the sale of guinea pigs (along with dogs, cats, and rabbits).

World Animal Protection is working to pass retail pet sales bans across the country. Want to join us? Download a toolkit that breaks down how to work with your local legislators on retail pet sales bans or check out our webinar about passing local laws protecting animals in pet stores and circuses.

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