A Pennsylvania lawmaker says he’s found an “unfortunate gap” in a state law.
Right now the commonwealth has no law that makes it illegal to consume popular household pets, that is — cats and dogs.
This definitely comes as a shock to most people, including veterinarians.
House bill 1750 would essentially make it illegal to eat cats and dogs, and if you do, the punishment includes a hefty fine and prison time.
State Representative John Maher says over the past year, he’s received disturbing reports that people in Pennsylvania are consuming domesticated animals for dinner.
But the part that makes him the most angry is the fact that nobody has put forth legislation to make it illegal.
“So long as the butcher is following the food safety law, Fido and Mr. Whiskers can wind up on the chopping block,” say Representative John Maher, (R) 40th District.
Maher believes it hasn’t become law because people would naturally assume it’s against the law.
“Some people view pets as their family members, a lot of people do actually so it’s kinda just sorta a strange theory to think that people would actually eat animals,” says Animal Emergency and Referral Center of York Practice Manager, Tiffany Harvey.
It’s the most vicious form of animal cruelty, which is a problem vets have been trying to stop.
“I’ve been a vet for 22 years and it has been the entire time, and before that too,” says Dr. Lisa Miller, a Veterinarian at the Animal Emergency and Referral Center of York.
Miller says she’s never seen a case where someone has consumed a cat or dog but she knows it happens.
“Dogs and cats are not considered food products so it’s one less thing that we’ll have to worry about and if we do see it we have a legal right to go after the people,” says Miller.
If House bill 1750 passes, it would hold the person selling or slaughtering responsible and carry a maximum $15,000 penalty and a 7 year prison sentence.
Maher says the law will put him and pet lovers at ease.
So far the bill has bipartisan support.
Representative Maher says he hasn’t spoken to anyone who’s against it.