ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It’s a shocking case of animal cruelty that’s led to a lot of discussion around the state.
Earlier this month, deputies say an Edgewood man told them he stabbed a nine-month old chiweenie with a screwdriver with the intention of cooking the dog and serving it for dinner.
That man, Salvador Martinez, was arrested for extreme animal cruelty because of how he allegedly killed the dog, but there’s another piece of the case that’s drawn attention.
In New Mexico, it is legal to eat your dog or cat.
The Land of Enchantment is far from alone in that distinction. According to the Humane Society, only California, New York and New Jersey expressly ban the human consumption of pets. Lawmakers in Hawaii pushed to institute a similar prohibition in that state, but the bill died before it could make it through the legislative process.
State Rep. Liz Thomson, D-Albuquerque, says the recent case out of Torrance County has caught her attention. At the last legislative session, she backed a bill that would’ve banned the slaughter of horses for human consumption.
Now Thomson says she’s looking at introducing a bill that would ban New Mexicans from eating dogs and cats.
“I know that there’s a lot of hunger in this state but I don’t think eating our pets is the right way to go about it,” Thomson said. “I think we need to look at New Mexico being a leader for once instead of waiting to be the tail end.”
Other state lawmakers are more skeptical such a law is necessary.
House Majority Whip Moe Maestas, D-Albuquerque, says while he would likely support the proposal, it strikes him as a knee-jerk reaction to the current case.
State Sen. Sander Rue, R-Albuquerque, described himself as “skeptical” of the idea, saying that it shouldn’t be a priority and that cases like the one in Edgewood are so rare a law may not be warranted.
Alan Edmonds with Animal Protection of New Mexico described the Salvador Martinez case as “an absolutely egregious and heinous act that warrants prosecution to the fullest extent of the law”.
However, Edmonds says a proposal banning the human consumption of dogs and cats would not be a priority for the group at the next legislative session in January.