The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a legislation prohibiting slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption. The Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act, 2018, imposes a fine of USD 5,000 (over Rs 3,50,000) for each violation.
In another resolution, the House has urged all countries including China, South Korea and India to end the dog and cat meat trade. “Dogs and cats are meant for companionship and recreation. Tragically, more than 10 million dogs are killed for human consumption every year in China,” said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney.
“There is no place in our compassionate society for these practices. This bill is a reflection of America’s values, and sends a strong message to all nations that we will not stand for this inhumane and cruel treatment,” she said.
The resolution urges the governments of China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, India, and all other nations to adopt and enforce laws banning the dog and cat meat trade. It also urges these countries to increase their efforts to prevent any leather or fur byproducts of such trade from entering international markets and use their food safety laws to crack down on the sale of dog and cat’s meat.
The bill amends the Animal Welfare Act. It affirms the US commitment to the protection of animals and to advancing the progress of animal protection around the world, she said.
In addition, the bill prohibits people from knowingly transporting, possessing, buying, selling, or donating: a dog or cat to be slaughtered for human consumption, or dog or cat parts for human consumption, setting a maximum fine of USD 5,000 for violations.
“More than half the households in America have a dog or cat as part of their family. We should send a clear message that slaughtering these beloved animals for food is unacceptable and will be punished,” Congressman Vern Buchanan said.
The animal welfare organisation, the Animal Wellness Action (AWC) also welcomed the passage of the two legislations. “The dog meat trade – claiming 30 million lives a year – is the world’s largest form of dog exploitation,” said Marty Irby, AWC executive director at Animal Wellness Action.
The dog meat trade is widespread in South Korea, where meat traders slaughter and kill millions of dogs for the table after they are raised on thousands of “farms.” In China, dog meat butchers gather up street dogs and and kill them.