Pet owners are aware that some countries, such as China, South Korea, and Thailand routinely use dogs and even cats as a meat source for human diets. However, many Americans are unaware of an underground market for the sale, purchase, and consumption of dog and cat meat here in the US.
Earlier this month, September 12th, the US House of Representatives passed a bill outlawing the slaughter of dogs and cats and consuming the meat. Amazingly in this era of fierce infighting between legislators, the bill passed with bipartisan support. The next step sends the bill to the Senate where it is expected to pass, again with bipartisan support.
Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act
The “Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018” was co-sponsored by Florida lawmakers Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) and Rep. Alcee Hastings (D). It passed in the House by a voice vote. The two lawmakers have been working for two years to pass a ban on the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption.
The bill specifies it will be “illegal to knowingly slaughter, transport, possess, buy, sell, or donate dogs or cats or their parts for human consumption.” It penalizes eating cats and dogs with fines of up to $5,000. It also bars the shipping, sale, and transportation of the animals for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption.
44 States Formerly Allowed Pets To Be Slaughtered For Human Food
While dog meat consumption in the U.S. is limited, most states still allowed dogs to be raised and sold for meat. Only California, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, New York, and Virginia banned such practices.
H.R.6720 is a modified version of H.R.1406, which was originally introduced by Hastings, as well as Representatives Vern Buchanan (R-FL), David Trott (R-MI) and Brendan Boyle (D-PA) on March 7, 2017.
The legislation, which had 246 cosponsors and broad bipartisan support in the House of Representatives, amends the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit people from knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption.
Hastings said in a statement reported in TheHill.com, that he is proud to have led the effort to ban the practice, and said that the move will help the U.S. in its calls to end the dog and cat meat trade in other countries.
“It is important to that we hold ourselves to the same standards we wish to see in others,” Hastings said.
Organizations including The Humane Society of the United States and Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation (AHWF) have been pushing for the change to make the country an example worldwide.
US organizations still fighting dog meat trade in Asia
AHWF founder Marc Ching said in an Associated Press article,
“This is a major victory for the animals, and will work to assist those in other countries leading the way to fight against and liberate those victimized by the dog and cat meat trade.”
The House is also urging other nations, specifically, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and India, to follow suit and put an end to the consumption of domestic animals.
Contact your state Senators to urge them to support this legislation.