State Representative James Casorio says new regulations introduced by the Department of Agriculture violate Pennsylvania’s dog law.
Casorio says the rules would allow adult female breeding dogs and their puppies to spend at least half of each year on wire flooring. He says this is in direct contradiction to the existing law, which prohibits wire flooring for any dog.
The Westmoreland County Democrat says wire flooring can cause paw lacerations or even result in amputation.
A Dept. of Agriculture spokesperson says the regulations were meant to prevent puppies from being infected, because their waste would fall through a wire floor where it would accumulate on a hard surface.
But Casorio isn’t happy with that justification.
“All of a sudden, the concern of the breeders and quite frankly [the Dept. of Agriculture] that puppies not be in their own waste… I just don’t understand it, quite frankly,” says Casorio. “The dogs being placed on wire flooring for six months is not acceptable.”
Casorio says the Dept. of Agriculture has also granted dog law waivers or extensions to 80 of the state’s 111 commercial kennels.
“What stake does the Department of Agriculture have in maintaining the status quo so that mass breeders can operate as cheaply and effectively, from their perspective, as possible?” says Casorio. “I don’t know, but I think that’s a question that certainly deserves an answer.”
The Dept. of Agriculture spokesperson says the regulations will be revised and resubmitted to the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission.