Many pet-loving Americans were shocked to hear this news, but only six states — California, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia — explicitly outlaw dog meat.
But members of the U.S. House are trying to change that.
They’ve just passed legislation that would outlaw the slaughter of dogs and cats for food, a move that will also serve as a signal to other countries that Americans condemn the dog and cat meat trades in East Asia, according to the Washington Post.
What’s more, it’s a rare topic on which both sides of the aisle agree.
The Bill, by Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Alcee Hastings, both from Florida, would amend the federal Animal Welfare Act to ban the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption in the United States. It was passed this week by voice vote.
The bill makes it illegal to knowingly slaughter, transport, possess, buy, sell or donate dogs or cats or their parts for human consumption. Violators would be fined up to $5,000.
“Dogs and cats provide love and companionship to millions of people and should not be slaughtered and sold as food,” Buchanan said.
The House also passed a non-binding resolution urging other nations to end the dog and cat meat trade. Targeted here are the governments of the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, India, China, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and other nations to ban consumption of the animals. Last year, Taiwan led the Asian charge, became the first to make the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption illegal.
“This bill is a reflection of our values and gives us a greater standing in urging all other countries to end this horrific practice once and for all,” Hastings said.
Animal rights groups, many of which have been lobbying hard for this change while saving slaughterhouse animals in far-flung parts of the world, were thrilled, noting that there is
small underground U.S. market for dog and cat meat.
Nationwide, it is illegal for slaughterhouses to handle dogs and cats, and for stores to sell the meat. But outside the abovementioned six, individuals are not prohibited from killing and eating a dog or cat or selling the meat to other people.