|Posted:||April 4, 2023 11:16 AM|
|From:||Representative Ryan A. Bizzarro and Rep. Jeanne McNeill, Rep. Melissa L. Shusterman|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Beagle Freedom Bills|
|Pennsylvania can do much better in protecting animals being bred and used for research in animal testing laboratories and from kennels and dealers who face serious or multiple citations under the Animal Welfare Act.
That is why we are joining Senator Comitta in introducing a three-bill package that builds on the lead of our neighbor Virginia which recently enacted comprehensive reforms including restricting the import and sale of animals from kennels and dealers who have serious or multiple citations under the federal Animal Welfare Act, requires those breeding dogs and cats for medical or scientific experimentation to keep records, enhanced animal adoption options and closing loopholes that prevented cruelty to animal charges in Virginia’s laws.
Our legislation contains all these good ideas from Virginia’s five-bill legislative packet, along with basic underlying animal protection language that the Virginia beagle bills were built upon, with a few common-sense improvements like the addition of basic whistleblower protections and preventing kennel operators and dealers who violate federal laws from operating in our state.
Introduced as HB1318
|Description:||Bill 1: A free standing “Beagle Freedom Bill”
· Requires those who breed dogs and cats for sale to animal testing facilities and the testing facilities themselves to offer dogs and cats for adoption once the animals are no longer needed and adoption poses no risk to the animal or to the public.
· Prohibits the sale or import of dogs or cats bred by a kennel or by a person that has received certain serious or numerous citations for violations of the Animal Welfare Act as companion animals (pets) or for research purposes.
· Requires kennels selling dogs or individuals or businesses selling cats for research purposes to maintain records for individual animals and submit an annual summary of that to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
· Offers Whistleblower protection to employees who report violations of this act, the federal Animal Welfare Act, Title 18’s Cruelty to Animals Statute or the Dog Law.
· Establishes a third-degree misdemeanor penalties.
· Requires annual reports to be submitted from the Department of Agriculture to the state legislature, with a 120-day effective date.
Introduced as HB1319
|Description:||Bill 2: Amending the Dog Law
· Prohibits the sale or import of dogs bred in kennels or by dealers from facilities that have received citations for violations of the Animal Welfare Act as pets or for medical experimentation.
· Currently the Dog Law allows kennel licenses to be revoked from violations of Pa Animal Cruelty laws or from similar violations of other state statutes. This bill extends that protection to violations of federal law.
· Offers Whistleblower protection to employees who report violations of the Dog Law, Title 18’s Cruelty to Animals provisions or federal Animal Welfare Act.
Introduced as HB1320
|Description:||Bill 3: Amending Title 18 - Cruelty to Animals Statute
· Currently these provisions have a broad exemption to facilities “relating” to medical or scientific research
· Like Virginia law, this bill would narrow that exemption so that existing protections under the animal cruelty statute can be extended to animals bred for research and to animals possessed by testing labs not actively involved in bona fide scientific or medical research.
· Offers Whistleblower protection to employees who report violations of Title 18’s Cruelty to Animals statute, the Dog Law or federal Animal Welfare Act.