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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 19, 2015 03:22 PM
From: Representative Marty Flynn
To: All House members
Subject: Animal Cruelty - Domestic Animals
In the near future, I will re-introduce legislation – House Bill 2015 – that would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses), § 5511 (Cruelty to Animals), of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes by replacing the mental requirements of “willfully and maliciously” with “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly” when an individual is accused of engaging in cruelty to domestic animals.

It has come to my attention that when it comes to the enforcement and prosecution of many animal abuse cases, many prosecutors across our Commonwealth have been handicapped in trying to prove the mental elements of willfully and maliciously beyond a reasonable doubt for the misdemeanor-graded crime of cruelty to domestic animals.
The “willfully and maliciously" language is a difficult standard to meet.

Changing this language to “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly” has the endorsement of the Humane Society of the United States, as well as the support of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Thank you!

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Introduced as HB1174