When a town in Pennsylvania’s countryside became the first in the US to pass a law requiring the evacuation of livestock from its streets
Posted On July 25, 2021
AUSTIN, Texas — The Pennsylvania legislature has voted overwhelmingly to legalize the “right of way” law, which would allow people to drive onto private property and drive away animals on private property.
In a narrow vote of 52-48, the House voted 39-7 to allow the state to issue a new regulation for the protection of livestock.
In the Senate, the measure is still pending.
The measure, which will go into effect on July 1, would prohibit driving onto private land and onto public roads.
The law would also prohibit drivers from blocking private property with vehicles or moving vehicles onto private or public roads or from parking in a private or a public area.
Pennsylvania was the first state in the country to pass such a law.
The legislation was introduced in May by Rep. Paul C. “Skip” Thompson, D-Manassas, who represents the western suburbs of the state.
The bill would have required motorists to “enter into a written agreement with the owner of a private property before they are allowed to drive on or into the property.”
The measure passed the House and is awaiting a final vote in the Senate.
The Senate is expected to vote on the measure this week.
The Pennsylvania legislature, which is divided between Democratic and Republican-leaning seats, passed the bill by a razor-thin margin of 52 to 48 in the House, which has a Republican majority.
The House bill also would have exempted certain types of livestock, such as chickens, pigs and sheep, from the requirement to use a “right-of-way.”
State Agriculture Commissioner Peter E. DeSantis, a Democrat, said the measure was a “significant step forward” in protecting animals from being damaged by vehicles.
“We will continue to work with our members of Congress to implement these rules as quickly as possible,” DeSants said in a statement.