New York City Council has proposed banning the sale of guinea pigs in pet shops after animal shelters became overwhelmed with abandoned guinea pigs that were adopted during the Covid pandemic to offset the loneliness of lockdown. This year, in New York city, over 600 guinea pigs were taken to shelters representing a more than 50% rise compared with pre-pandemic numbers, as reported by The New York Times. In 2019 only 281 were surrendered.
The Animal Care Centres of New York City posted a video on Twitter, last week, of 22 guinea pigs, five of which were pregnant. They had been dumped at an apartment block in Staten Island. A spokesperson said: “This situation has become untenable. We are at our wits’ end.”
Nine guinea pigs were found at Pier 66, Hudson River Park last week after they had been dumped by their owner (see image above and video below).
The proposed city ban has been signed off by 34/51 council members and was introduced by Councilwoman Diana Ayala. She said that the council will be debating the proposal this autumn. It is, as expected, supported by animal activists and shelters.
In 2016 pet stores were barred from selling rabbits also because shelters had become overcrowded with surrendered pets.
If any American reads this, they can adopt one of these guinea pigs through Animal Care Centres of NYC by clicking on this Link.
Below are some more animal law articles.