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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 29, 2024 03:21 PM
From: Representative Kate A. Klunk
To: All House members
Subject: Prohibiting the possession and distribution of material depicting zoosadism
On January 20, 2024, a woman in Upper Darby Township was arrested and charged with several counts of aggravated cruelty to animals after recording herself sadistically torturing animals and subsequently posting the videos on YouTube.  In its police report, the Upper Darby Township Police Department noted that the videos depicted the woman mutilating and disemboweling several animals, including a pigeon, a chicken, a rabbit, and frogs, while they were still alive.  Disturbingly, the police also noted that the woman’s commentary during these videos was sexually charged and that some viewers shamelessly encouraged the abuse in the comments to her videos.
According to the National Institute of Health, zoosadism is defined as “a paraphilia in which sexual arousal and satisfaction are obtained from torturing a nonhuman animal.”  While statistics regarding the prevalence of this perverse disorder are elusive, zoosadism and animal sexual abuse are likely more common than generally perceived.[1]  In 2016, the FBI began collecting data on acts of animal cruelty after determining that such acts often serve as a precursor to violent crime directed at humans.[2]  Indeed, decades of research conducted by the FBI illustrates that most serial killers, school shooters, and mass murderers tortured animals at some point during their lives.[3]  A medical study published by the National Library of Medicine established that a significant portion of “zoosadists” exhibit “additional disorders of sexual behaviour[.]”
While an individual who engages in sexual contact with or tortures an animal may rightfully expect to be prosecuted under existing law, an individual who possesses or distributes videos depicting the inexcusable torture and mutilation of defenseless animals will not be subject to criminal penalties.  Accordingly, in the near future I intend to introduce a bill to prohibit the possession and distribution of material depicting zoosadism if such material appeals to a prurient interest and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, educational, or scientific value. 
I believe that any individual who possesses or circulates zoosadistic material to satisfy perverse sexual desires at the expense of innocent and defenseless animals should be subject to criminal penalties under the laws of this Commonwealth. Due to the correlation between zoosadism and violent crime, I also believe that this legislation is necessary to protect society at large. 
Please join me in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.