The House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that bans killing dogs and cats for human consumption. Yes, in the United States. Yes, in 2018. You may be thinking, “Wait a minute. It wasn’t illegal to eat dogs and cats in this country before?” It may surprise you to know that it’s still legal to slaughter and eat dogs and cats in 43 states. Even though this bill passed in the House, it still has to go through the Senate and the President before it becomes a law, but it’s a step in the right direction.
At least we know the House of Representatives can agree on something. House members from both Republican and Democratic parties supported the bill, known as H.R.6720 or Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018, and passed it with a simple voice vote. The bill prohibits the slaughter of dogs and cats for meat and sets a maximum fine of $5,000 per violation. It also makes exceptions for Indian tribes who consume dog or cat meat as part of religious ceremonies.
Some people may wonder why we need a law at all. It is not common practice in the United States to eat cats and dogs, so why bother banning it? Although it is rare, dogs and cats are sometimes killed for meat in this country. Besides the states that have banned the practice, other states have animal cruelty laws that can be used to charge people who kill dogs and cats for consumption. However, those laws are often not direct and open to interpretation. This bill, if signed into law, makes it easier to prosecute those criminals.
A law banning the slaughter of dogs and cats for meat would also strengthen calls from the United States to ban the practice worldwide. Killing and consuming dogs and cats is more common in countries like China, South Korea, and Vietnam. If we are going to demand that other countries pass laws to protect dogs and cats, we should be willing to do the same here, even if the practice is not common.
What do you think? Do you hope to see this bill become a law soon? Let us know in the comments below!