HARRISBURG - The state House Judiciary Committee todaytue will consider animal cruelty legislation making it illegal for non-veterinarians to perform certain surgical procedures on dogs.

The bill (HB 2532) would ban non-veterinarians from performing cesarean sections or cutting dogs' vocal chords to prevent them from barking - practices that have been documented in some commercial dog breeding kennels. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D., Berks), also would bar breeders from performing tail docking of a dog over three days old.

The meeting is scheduled at 10 a.m. in the Capitol.

The measure is part of a legislative package introduced last month and promoted by Gov. Rendell aimed at improving animal welfare in Pennsylvania. A hearing on a bill to improve conditions in commercial kennels is scheduled before the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee on Thursday.