Newsflash

A Bill that was fast-tracked through the PA House of Representatives is not what it claims to be. The statements to the media by its sponsors imply that it is only a restructuring of existing Cruelty Laws and some increase in the category of some of those offenses (i.e. from a summary offense to third degree misdemeanor). While those elements are in the House Bill 1238, there are also some troubling provisions in it that are not part of current PA Law.

Read more...

HB39 has passed the Senate Agriculture committee after being amended as we requested.  We did not get everything we wanted but what was signed into Law was reasonable in our opinion. 

It was referred to the House Rules Committee on August 11, 2009.  You can find the full text of the Bill here.

The Bill as amended removed the current requirement that proof of docking be carried by exhibitors.  It removed an obsolete requirement that was not enforced in any case.  It permits docking and dewclaw removal by owners on puppies up to five days old.  It clarifies record keeping requirements.  It permits all the surgeries if done by a licensed veterinarian.

We tried but failed to get the right of owners to crop their own dogs under the immediate supervision of a veterinarian using anesthesia.  This was strongly opposed by the PVMA.  This bill will pass constitutional challenge as amended by the Senate Ag Committee.  It is now before the Judiciary Committee before going back to the floor for a second reading.

H39 is a criminal statute targeted at preventing abuse of dogs by making clear that dewclaw removal and tail docking of dogs over five days old and c-sections and debarking must be performed by a veterinarian.  It makes possession of a dog with the wound unhealed evidence of a violation that can be fought by records showing the surgery was properly done.

Permission to crosspost anytime and anywhere or to circulate otherwise is granted.
 
Julian Prager
Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs, Legislative Chair
National Animal Interest Alliance Legal Analyst & Legislative Coordinator