Finally! US House Prohibits Sale of Dog and Cat Meat

While there is worldwide awareness and outrage about the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in South Korea, what’s less known is the fact that here in the United States, there currently is no federal ban on killing dogs and cats for the purpose of eating them.

Although it’s illegal throughout the country for slaughterhouses to kill dogs and cats and for stores to sell their meat, most states allow people to kill and eat these animals and sell their meat.

Fortunately, that may soon change. The Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018 (H.R. 6720) has just passed the House of Representatives. It amends the Animal Welfare Act to outlaw the slaughter, transportation, sale and possession of dogs and cats for consumption. The penalty for violating this law would be up to $5,000. Native American tribes that slaughter or trade dogs or cats for religious ceremonies are exempted from the law, however.

Unlike pretty much everything else, the bill, first introduced in 2017, is receiving bipartisan support in Congress. It is sponsored by two representatives from Florida: Rep. Alcee Hastings, who is a Democrat, and Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Republican.

Only six states—California, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, New York and Virginia—have laws banning the consumption of dogs and cats. This bill will ensure that the other 44 will join them. Thankfully, the consumption of these animals is not common in the U.S.

“Dogs and cats provide love and companionship to millions of people and should not be slaughtered and sold as food,” Buchanan said in a statement.

The House also approved a measure (H.Res.401) urging South Korea, China, Vietnam and other countries to join the U.S. in outlawing the dog and cat meat trade. (Last year, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to do this.) This measure doesn’t require approval of the Senate or President, because it’s a non-binding House resolution.

“As the House of Representatives also calls for the end of the dog and cat meat trade globally, it is important to that we hold ourselves to the same standards we wish to see in others,” Hastings said in a statement.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Animal Wellness Action are backing the bill. “These animals are our dutiful companions and not our dinner fare,” stated Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action. “We applaud Reps. Buchanan and Hastings for their resolve in pressing ahead with this important legislation.”

The Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018 is now on its way to the Senate for its approval. Buchanan is hopeful the bill will be passed before Congress adjourns for the fall.

“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,” he stated. “I look forward to working to ensure its swift passage.”

Take Action

Tell Congress that you support the ban of cat and dog meat. Sign the Care2 petition supporting the Dog and Cat Meat Prohibition Act.

Want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling? You, too, can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. You’ll find Care2’s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.


Photo credit: Free-Photos


Veronica B
Veronica B2 months ago

Great news!!!!!

Carole R
Carole R2 months ago

I didn't know this wasn't a law. I thought it would have been made illegal years ago. Better late than never, I guess.

Cindy M. D
Cindy M. D2 months ago

Very happy news. This should NEVER have been going on to begin with. Anyone who could look into the loving eyes of a dog or cat then kill it and eat it is a heartless soul.

Janis K
Janis K2 months ago

Good. Thanks for sharing.

Georgina Elizab M
Georgina Elizab M2 months ago

Thank you for the information

Mark Donner
Mark Donner2 months ago

South Korea, China and Vietnam are polluted greedy hellpits. And the criminals from those hellpits are responsible for most of the wildlife trafficking

Crystal Owen
Crystal Owen2 months ago

Why wasn't this always a thing?!

Teresa A
Teresa Antela2 months ago

Good to know!

danii p
danii p2 months ago

thank you

danii p
danii p2 months ago

thank you