Support SB 69 Cordelia’s Law

SB 69: “Cordelia’s Law” – Cordelia’s Law puts penalties for crimes against horses in Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty statute on par with those for crimes against dogs and cats as well as provides additional protections for guide dogs. Introduced by Senator John Eichelberger + 13 co-sponsors.   The language from this bill has been incorporated into HB 1238, now Act 10 – the comprehensive anti-cruelty bill.

Why do we need Cordelia’s Law?

Cordelia’s Law provides the legal basis for criminal animal cruelty charges for crimes cordelia%20starving%20horse%20300x400against horses when appropriate.

  • Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty provisions lack clarity and fail to provide necessary guidance and uniformity, especially to SPCAs and PA Humane Society Police Officers who are trained, court-appointed, and employed to ensure the humane treatment of horses.
  • The inadequacy of Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty law as it relates to horses is becoming more apparent with increased reporting and public concern over cases of neglected and abused horses in the state.
  • Another case of recent tragedy occurred in Lancaster County this summer whereby the paltry penalty for an owner who beat to death an overworked horse was a meager fine of $750.   

What does Cordelia’s Law do?

Cordelia’s Law puts penalties for crimes against horses in Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty statute on par with those for crimes against dogs and cats.

  • This legislation addresses the enforcement and application of Pennsylvania’s cruelty laws, particularly as they pertain to horses.
  • It will amend Title 18 (Crimes) to better define “torture” and to provide appropriate penalties including language drafted with assistance from the Farm Bureau. Currently, penalties for crimes against horses are limited to summary offenses (similar level to parking violations); whereas penalties for crimes against dogs and cats can bear misdemeanor level charges.

What is the current status of Cordelia’s Law?

SB 69 has passed the PA Senate and is assigned to House Judiciary Committee.

 

 

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