JP Pets: MSPCA pushes for new animal welfare laws

June 20, 2014
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The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA), which includes a hospital and adoption center at 350 S. Huntington Ave., takes care of animals in more than one way. The MSPCA is working on new laws to improve the lives of Massachusetts’s furry residents.

MSPCA spokesperson Rob Halpin told the Gazette that the MSPCA is currently focused on three state items:

1. Preserving the ban on Sunday hunting. A bill currently in the Senate would, if passed, eliminate the ban on Sunday hunting in Massachusetts.

“We are working to defeat the bill and keep Sundays free from hunting so that nature lovers [like] hikers, bird watchers and bikers, who rely on this one-day respite during hunting season, can enjoy the safety and serenity of the state’s natural resources,” Halpin said.

2. Increasing the penalty for animal cruelty. According to Halpin, there are several bills currently in play that would increase both the minimum jail time and fine for animal cruelty.

“The MSPCA strongly supports ensuring we have strong provisions to prevent and penalize animal cruelty. Currently the fine is one of the lowest in the country at a maximum of $2,500,” he said.

3. Inclusion of pets in disaster planning. In March, a bill endorsed by the MSPCA was signed into law, mandating the inclusion of pets and service animals in city disaster plans, ensuring pet owners don’t need to choose between saving themselves or their animals should they need to evacuate.

“Now that the bill has become law, the MSPCA, as a member of the State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team (SMART), will help cities and towns implement changes to their disaster plans to comply with the new law,” Halpin said.

For more information, visit mspca.org or call 617-522-7400.