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House Bans Slaughtering Dog And Cat For Food

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The House of Representatives passed a legislation prohibiting the slaughter, transportation, or selling of dogs and cats for the purpose of human consumption in the United States.

The Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018 (H.R. 6720), amending the federal Animal Welfare Act, authorizes a fine of up to $5,000 for violating the law.

The bill, introduced by Reps. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., and Alcee Hastings, D-Fla, passed by a voice vote following a floor debate.

"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," Buchanan said.

He co-chairs the Animal Protection Caucus and has been a vocal opponent to weakening the Endangered Species Act.

The dog and cat meat trade currently exists in the United States, albeit on a much smaller scale when compared to some East Asian countries such as China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.

The practice of meat trade, though rare, is still legal in 44 American states.

The House also adopted a resolution urging other nations to end the dog and cat meat trade.

Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines and Singapore have outlawed the dog meat trade. Hong Kong and Taiwan have banned the cat meat trade.

In another key legislation seeking protection of animals, the House passed a bill that would crack down on global wildlife trafficking. The Rescuing Animals with Rewards (RAWR) Act, H.R. 6197, was introduced by Reps. Dan Donovan, R- N.Y., and Joaquin Castro, D- Tex. It would authorize the U.S. State Department to make cash awards for information on wildlife trafficking.

The bills will now move to the Senate.

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