Below is a press release from State Rep. Dave Robertson’s Office:
BOSTON, MA — Complementing federal law which prohibits the slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption, Representative David Robertson (19th Middlesex) has introduced a legislative proposal, currently undergoing counsel review, that would strengthen Massachusetts laws regarding this troubling issue. Representative Robertson’s proposal would provide additional enforcement powers for police officers in the field.
Although illegal under federal law, the breeding, transit, and slaughtering of cats and dogs is still not criminally punishable in over 40 states. By introducing this state legislation, Representative Robertson aims to ensure that local law enforcement officials will be able to investigate and prosecute individuals who partake in these reprehensible killings.
“When I was first told that Massachusetts had no laws against this practice, I was honestly in disbelief,” said Representative Robertson. “It seems like an issue that should have been made illegal hundreds of years ago, but it was only 2018 when the federal government finally addressed it. Thus far, only five other states have outlawed it within their borders. It is my hope that by strengthening our state law we will send a clear message that Massachusetts is not a place that will ever accept this violence.”
While slaughterhouses and grocery stores cannot handle nor process such meat, federal law only recently prevented private slaughter and consumption. This had previously left loopholes that resulted in several terrible encounters, including the theft of a golden retriever puppy in Hawaii for meat slaughter and the closure of a Philadelphia restaurant after it was discovered that over 50 cats were being held in a basement dungeon awaiting customer consumption. Due to weak state laws, the horrific Hawaiian incident resulted in only five years of probation for the criminals and the shameful Pennsylvanian situation brought about no criminal charges at all.
Once reviewed by counsels from the Massachusetts House of Representatives, the proposed Robertson legislation will be offered for cosponsorship before beginning the full legislative process. Currently, as written, the legislation offers a stiff penalty of no less than $5000 dollars per animal slaughtered or a minimum of one year imprisonment for each offense.
“I know that many of my colleagues will join onto this, in a true bipartisan effort. This is common sense legislation with strong protections and lasting commitments long overdue for our feline and canine companions,” added Robertson.
(NOTE: Cover photo from Jonathan Kriz on Flickr.)
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