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Proposed Pa. Law Would Outlaw Eating Housepets For Food

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (CBS) -- A bill introduced in the Pennsylvania legislature in Harrisburg would make illegal what most folks thought was already on the books: killing house pets, such as dogs and cats, for their meat.

Much of the world views dogs as trusted companions, but in some parts of Asia they are on the menu and considered a common dish or even a delicacy.

That's unsettling and abhorrent to most of us, including Rebecca Glenn-Dinwoodie, an attorney with the Pennsylvania SPCA.

"I guess people think this type of thing is already illegal," she said today, "however, it's been a loophole.  So they're trying to close that with this legislation."

The bill has passed the state House, and is now in the Senate.

George Bengal, the director of humane law enforcement for the SPCA, says that while it's illegal to sell domestic animals for commercial use in restaurants, there was nothing on the books prohibiting private consumption.

"As long as the animal was slaughtered humanely, it can be used for food," he tells KYW Newsradio.  "With this legislation, that will stop."

Bengal says he has investigated a handful of cases (about four, he thinks) over the last ten years.


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