LOS ANGELES, Calif.–The Los Angeles City Council voted 11-0 today to make it illegal to buy animals on public property.

“The sale of live animals on city sidewalks and streets poses a real risk to these vulnerable animals and the public at large,” said Councilwoman Jan Perry, who came up with the idea.

Selling pets in public is already illegal.

Perry said many of the animals being sold have not been vaccinated, have been taken from their mothers too soon, or carry diseases and often end up being abandoned.

The new law will make it a misdemeanor to buy animals, and violators will be subject to a $250 fine for a first offense.

Despite laws on the books, selling pets in public is a problem in downtown’s Fashion District and at Venice Beach, officials said.

“People will continue to sell animals as long as they can make a profit,” Perry said. “By making it illegal to purchase animals we hope to curtail this demand and stop this inhumane practice.”

Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andy Smith told the council that the department supports the ordinance.

“This is a big problem, but this just one small piece in a puzzle of enforcement and education,” he said.

The council did not have the required 12 members needed to approve the ordinance on its first reading, and the council will take another vote next week.