WASHINGTONCongressmen Vern Buchanan and Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) today introduced a bipartisan resolution calling for an end to the global trade of dog and cat meat. Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

“Dogs and cats provide love and companionship to millions of people and should not be slaughtered and sold as food,” said Buchanan. “The United States sent a strong message in 2018 by passing the late Rep. Alcee Hastings’s and my legislation to permanently ban the practice domestically. The U.S. should continue to be a leader against this inhumane and unsafe industry by passing this resolution condemning the practice across the globe.”

According to Humane Society International, approximately 30 million dogs and 10 million cats are slaughtered yearly to sustain the dog and cat meat trade. When transported to slaughterhouses, dogs and cats are packed tightly in trucks for hours or days without food or water. As a result, many dogs and cats suffer immensely and die during transport. The ones that survive the journey are slaughtered in the cruelest ways possible, including being clubbed, having their throats cut while still conscious, being burned alive and being electrocuted.

The issue surrounding this inhumane practice goes even further. In addition to the cruelty of the dog and cat meat trade, consuming this kind of meat poses severe health risks to humans, and several diseases, such as rabies, cholera, and trichinellas, are associated with it. There is also a risk of spreading mutated canine influenza and canine coronavirus to humans, which could cause another pandemic to reach the United States.

Rep. Moskowitz said, “The global suffering of dogs and cats for human consumption is barbaric and unconscionable. The same animals that we consider valued members of our families are victims of some of the worst examples of human cruelty. This resolution is an important step in eliminating the pervasive abuse of dogs and cats worldwide.”

Sen. Merkley said, “Around the world, millions of dogs and cats are subjected to inhumane conditions before being cruelly slaughtered. These disturbing practices must end. This resolution sends a resounding message to the countries that perpetrate these abuses that the United States is committed to enforcing critical animal welfare standards, and urges the global community to do the same.”

Senator Scott said, “It is unimaginable to think of cats and dogs being tortured and killed for people to eat. We must end this disturbing and inhumane practice now and I am proud to stand alongside my colleagues to send this important message in a bicameral and bipartisan resolution.”

This resolution builds on the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act, previously championed by Buchanan and the late Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.). This legislation banned the slaughter of dogs and cats for the purpose of human consumption in the U.S. It was signed into law as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.

Buchanan, who co-chairs the Animal Protection Caucus in Congress, is a leading advocate for protecting endangered species and ending animal cruelty, introducing and co-sponsoring dozens of important animal measures. Most recently, he introduced the Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act to permanently ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption and prohibit the export of live horses to Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses to be sold overseas. In 2019, Buchanan’s legislation, the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, was signed into law, which banned extreme forms of animal cruelty and torture. The PACT Act was the nation’s first federal animal cruelty law.