Reschenthaler proposes bipartisan bill to improve pet protections

U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) on Jan. 30 introduced bipartisan legislation that would improve honesty in pet sales across the nation.

Rep. Reschenthaler cosponsored the Petfax Act of 2020, H.R. 5715, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) to provide pet purchasers a “petfax” report detailing the conditions in which the animal was bred and raised, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmaker’s office.

“Too many animals suffer from inhumane conditions in our nation,” said Rep. Reschenthaler. “The Petfax Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation I’m introducing with Rep. Crist will better protect dogs and cats from neglect and abuse.”

If enacted, H.R. 5715 would require the sellers of dogs and cats to divulge Animal Welfare Act violations by the breeder, as well as the health history of the animal, according to the summary.

Additionally, the bill would set new penalties for sellers and breeders who have been involved in animal abuse or deceptive sales practices, the summary says.

“By improving transparency and providing consumers with more information, including the source of their pet and its record on animal welfare inspections, we can hold irresponsible sellers of dogs and cats accountable,” Rep. Reschenthaler said. “Given the proven ties between cruelty to animals and child and senior abuse, I will continue fighting to strengthen protections for our nation’s pets.”

“Pet owners deserve the peace of mind that their new family member wasn’t abused or mistreated by breeder or seller,” added Rep. Crist. “Requiring a petfax increases transparency, decreasing the potential for animal abuse, a win-win for all parties involved.”

H.R. 5715, which is supported by the Animal Wellness Foundation, is under consideration by both the U.S. House Agriculture Committee and the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.