For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 15

seems to ignore the "tethering" requirement in
the statute. Some, who own breeds suited for
colder climates, have accused the legislature of
governmental overreaching into conduct they
argue should be dealt with by "common sense"
which, as Voltaire noted, is not so common. The
fact is that bad facts can, at times, make bad
(or, at least, "overreaching") law and, it is a rare
observer who would not agree that a picture of
a shaking, snow-covered puppy, tied to a post
outside in inclement weather are not good facts.

Abuse of Horses
The new statute provides that neglectful and
cruel treatment of horses may be prosecuted
under the same statutes as neglectful and cruel
treatment of dogs and cats. Additionally, there
are specific sub-sections that apply to horses
and/or equine animals.

Selling or Using a Disabled Horse
Any person who offers for sale or sells a
horse, which, by reason of debility, disease
or lameness, or for other cause, cannot be
worked or used without violating the laws
against cruelty to animals, or leads, rides,
drives, or transports any such horse for any
purpose, except that of conveying the horse to
the nearest available appropriate facility for
humane keeping or destruction or for medical
or surgical treatment, commits a summary
offense.33
The affirmative defense of any given activity
being within "normal agricultural operation"
exists in the statutory scheme of this subchapter.
"Normal agricultural operation" is defined as
"normal activities, practices and procedures
that farmers adopt, use or engage in year after
year and the production and preparation of
market of poultry, livestock and their products
in the production and harvesting in agricultural
agronomic, horticultural, silvicultural and aquacultural crops and commodities."34
Although the "normal agricultural
operation" affirmative defense is available, it
requires the defendants to first come forward
with some evidence that they fall within the
exception before the burden shifts to the

Commonwealth to prove that they do not
beyond a reasonable doubt.35
For example, this defense was raised when
this author, along with fellow PACDL member,
Christopher M. Patterson, successfully defended a
case involving a large-scale, Lancaster County egg
farmer and his manager who were each charged
with 35 counts of cruelty to animals (chickens
within the facility). The charges were filed by
a Humane Society Police Officer (HSPO) with
the Pennsylvania Legislative Animal Network
who was directly selected and contacted by
Compassion Over Killing (COK)(Seriously), a
Washington, D.C.-based animal rights group.
Based on undercover video of the farm supplied
by COK, the HSPO filed the summary cruelty
charges. Ultimately, both men were acquitted
after a multi-day trial attended by animal rights
activists from several states after the Magisterial
District Judge agreed with the expert testimony
presented by the defendants, finding that the
activities on the farm were a part of a "normal
agricultural operation."36

Transporting Animals in Cruel
Manner
Although not specifically limited to horses, a
person commits a summary offense if he carries,
or causes or allows to be carried in or upon any
cart or other vehicle whatsoever an animal in a
cruel or inhumane manner.37 For example, if the
poultry your client is transporting exceeds more
than 15 pounds per cubic foot of space in a given
crate, it could be deemed cruel or inhumane.38
Although this summary offense may strike
you as chicken sh*!, compared to the run-of-themill homicides, robberies and drug delivery cases
with which you're accustomed to defending,
you should at least be aware that if your client
is charged with, essentially, having too many
chickens in one basket, the vehicle, vehicle
contents and animals may be seized.39 In fact, the
person taking the offender into custody may take
charge of the animal(s) and the vehicle and the
vehicle's contents, and deposit the same in a safe
place of custody, holding them until the costs of
caring for the animal are paid.

Vol. 3, Issue 1

l

For The Defense

15



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018

Contents
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 1
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 2
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - Contents
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 4
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 5
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 6
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 7
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 8
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 9
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 10
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 11
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 12
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 13
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 14
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 15
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 16
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 17
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 18
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 19
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 20
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 21
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 22
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 23
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 24
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 25
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 26
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 27
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 28
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 29
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 30
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 31
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 32
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 33
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 34
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 35
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 36
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 37
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 38
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 39
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 40
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 41
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 42
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 43
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 44
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 45
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 46
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 47
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 48
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 49
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 50
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 51
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 52
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 53
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 54
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 55
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 56
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