It May Finally Become Illegal to Kill Dogs and Cats for Food in the US

You’ve probably heard about the horrible Yulin Dog Meat Festival held every year in China. And the dog meat trade in South Korea got a lot of publicity recently, thanks to Olympic athletes like Meagan Duhamel and Gus Kenworthy making headlines when they rescued dogs that would otherwise have been someone’s dinner.

What you may not be aware of is the disturbing fact that the killing of dogs (and cats) for food happens right here in the United States.

While killing dogs and cats in commercial slaughterhouses is against the law in the US, it’s otherwise legal to kill them for food in 44 states. Only California, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, New York and Virginia have laws prohibiting it.

“With the work of our international arm, which tries to stop this practice that’s especially common in parts of Asia, we’ve had instances when these countries say, ‘Well, why are you talking to us when this is still legal in your own country?’” Marty Irby, senior adviser to the Humane Society Legislative Fund, told McClatchy’s Kate Irby.

A year ago, U.S. representative Alcee L. Hastings (D-Fla.) introduced the Dog and Cat Meat Prohibition Act of 2017, an amendment to the federal Animal Welfare Act. The act, which has 239 co-sponsors, would prohibit people from knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption.

It would also ban 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. Violators could face a fine and/or up to a year in prison.

More recently, Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) introduced an amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill that’s just been passed by the House Agriculture Committee. Like the Dog and Cat Meat Prohibition Act, this amendment would prohibit people from “knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption” and from knowingly participating in the other activities related to the pet meat trade.

The punishment for violators is a $2,500 fine and up to a year in prison.

“Adopting this policy signals that the United States will not tolerate the disturbing practice in our country,” Denham said, according to Politico.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) voted against Denham’s amendment, Politico reports. He said he doesn’t condone eating dogs and cats, but it’s traditional in other countries and he found it “a little tough” to imprison those who do it in the U.S.

It should come as no surprise that Steve King (R-Iowa) also voted against the amendment, since he has a history of opposing animal welfare laws (and once said dogfighting should be legal).

Unfortunately, the Farm Bill also includes a terrible amendment King himself introduced that would eliminate states’ rights to protect animals, warned Kitty Block, acting president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

The Farm Bill, which authorizes all federal agriculture programs including food stamps and farm subsidies, is expected to become law by Sept. 30, 2018, when some existing programs start expiring, Bloomberg reports.

Before then, the Farm Bill is bound to get some tweaking. While Denham’s amendment needs to stay, King’s troubling amendment definitely needs to go.

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.

If there’s an issue you care about in your community or the world, you can start your own Care2 petition. Care2′s community of activists will join you in your cause and help you make a difference.


Photo credit: rohitink


michelle t
michelle t5 days ago

USA, I am disgusted with your country.It should already be illegal!

Naomi D
Naomi Dabout a month ago

I thought it already was illegal.

Danuta W
Danuta Wabout a month ago

Thanks for sharing.

Kay M
Kay Mabout a month ago

noted. already signed.

Jane Howard
Jane Howard1 months ago

Dismayed and signed back in March..

Berenice Guedes de Sá

I hope this really works! People should also eat less and less meat!

Danii P
Danii P1 months ago


ANA MARIJA R1 months ago

Signed/shared the petition... Still Allowed in the Land of Dream??!

Heather B
Heather B1 months ago

How about banning the consumption period.? Recently the big scandal was about the rendered bodies of euthanized pets being found in commercial dog food. And to " Rep." Bob Goodlatte (not sure who or what he is representing) there are many practices including human sacrifice, genital mutilation, slavery, child marriage, cannibalism, and polygamy may be "cultural" but would not be and should not be tolerated here. Guess I now know who he represents - animal abusers, profiteers and pet eaters. One more reason to oust the incumbents.

Antje S
Antje S1 months ago

Petition signed