Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Congress Passes Buchanan Measure Protecting Animals

Dec 12, 2018
Press Release

Outlaws Slaughter of Dogs and Cats for Food

Heads to President for His Signature

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan’s legislation to outlaw the slaughter of dogs and cats for food was passed by the U.S. House today, along with two other animal welfare bills he co-sponsored. All three measures were included in a sweeping farm bill sent to the president for his signature.

Buchanan’s Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018 amends the federal Animal Welfare Act to make it illegal to knowingly slaughter, transport, possess, buy, sell or donate dogs or cats or their parts for human consumption. Violators would be fined up to $5,000.

Although rare, the practice is still legal in 44 states. A restaurant in Philadelphia was closed several years ago after a worker was caught slaughtering cats chained in the basement to be served as meals, according to the Animal Welfare Institute.

“Millions of Americans enjoy a special bond with their beloved dogs and cats,” Buchanan said. “It is horrifying to think any of them would be slaughtered for food.”

Holly Gann, director of federal affairs at Animal Wellness Action, said her organization was thrilled about the bill’s passage. “We applaud Rep. Buchanan for his leadership on this critical legislation that protects our dogs and cats from ever becoming victims of this cruelty and sets a global example to encourage the rest of the world to do the same,” Gann said.

Two other animal welfare bills co-sponsored by Buchanan also were included in the farm bill:

The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act: Makes it easier for women to bring their pets with them to domestic violence shelters when they leave abusive relationships by providing grants for shelter and housing assistance for domestic violence victims with pets. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 71 percent of pet-owning women entering these shelters reported that their abuser had threatened to injure or kill their pets.

Parity in Animal Cruelty Enforcement (PACE) Act: Ends animal fighting in all United States territories. An animal fighting ban currently applies to the United States, but not territories, including Puerto Rico. This measure would make it a felony to sponsor or exhibit an animal in a fighting venture and a misdemeanor to be a spectator at an animal fight in these locations.

Further Background:

Buchanan chairs the Animal Protection Caucus in Congress and received a 100 percent score from the Humane Society for his leadership and votes in 2018. He is also a past recipient of the Humane Society’s “Legislator of the Year” award.