Pennsylvania is not known for its large population of sharks or elephants, but two state senators are taking steps to protect these, and some more common animals.
Sens. Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia) and Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) say that bullhooks, and shark fin trade need to be banned in our State. Bullhooks are wooden boards with sharp hooks on the end intended to cause pain.
“Just because the elephants that live in Pennsylvania are treated well, the problem that we have is when circuses, and other shows come to town, they use these bullhooks right in the middle of the show to force elephants to do one thing or another. We should ban this practice, it is nothing but cruelty,” said Leach.
While sharks are hunted and killed in the oceans, Leach says some Pennsylvanians are end users of the practice. Sharks caught in the oceans have their fins cut off for a specialty “Shark Fin Soup” and thrown back into the water left to die. Currently eight restaurants in Philadelphia offer the cruel delicacy, according to the Animal Welfare Institute.
In addition to this, the senators are also advocating for a bill that would prohibit landlords to from forcing their tenants to declaw or debark their animals.
“No one should be able to use a tenant’s need for housing to force them to do something to their pet that is proven to be unpredictable. Requirements for debarking dogs and declawing cats are not only inhumane, they’re ill advised. They end up working exactly the opposite of what their intension is,” said Stack.
The Senators are also looking to ban the shooting of tied up animals, and the hunting of enclosed wild animals.
These measures are currently in their assigned committees.