Legislation that would make it a crime to willfully and maliciously kill dogs and cats for human consumption won approval in the state Senate last week and is scheduled to come back to the House for a concurrence vote today. The House gave this legislation its unanimous endorsement earlier in this legislative session.
House Bill 1750, sponsored by Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny/Washington), would close a loophole in the law that fails to protect domesticated animals from being slaughtered and eaten. Maher’s legislation would prohibit the processing, sale and serving of dog and cat meat for human consumption and impose strict penalties on those who violate the law.
“As repulsive and unfathomable as it is to imagine that anyone would subject family pets to such a horrific end, we know it is happening and there are no laws to prevent it,” said Maher. “House Bill 1750 would effectively shut down back alley slaughterhouses and keep Fido and Frisky off the dinner menu. This law would make clear to anyone who would prey on our beloved pets, that they will pay a heavy price for doing so.”
Violations would result in a misdemeanor carrying a fine of $1,000 to $10,000 and/or up to five years imprisonment. Subsequent violations would result in a felony of the third degree, carrying a fine of $2,500 to $15,000 and/or up to seven years in prison.
“People who abuse or neglect animals face tough penalties under the state’s animal cruelty statutes, but there is nothing on the books to specifically prohibit the slaughter and consumption of domesticated animals. That makes absolutely no sense. Our laws must extend the same protections to dogs and cats,” said Maher.
On Thursday, the Senate overwhelmingly approved the legislation with amendment and returned the measure to the House on concurrence. In the waning hours of this legislative session, the fate of these animals rests with the House, which has already given the bill its unanimous approval. A positive vote on concurrence will send the bill to the governor to be signed into law.
Media contact: Donna Pinkham, 717-260-6452