Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

House Expected to Pass 2 Buchanan, Hastings Bills to Protect Animals

Sep 12, 2018
Press Release

Condemn Global Trade of Dogs & Cats and Prohibit Slaughter for Food

Backed by U.S. Humane Society and Animal Wellness Action

WASHINGTON — Two animal welfare measures sponsored by Florida Congressmen Vern Buchanan and Alcee Hastings are expected to be approved today by the U.S. House. 

The Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018  (H.R. 6720) amends the federal Animal Welfare Act to prohibit the slaughter of dogs and cats for the purpose of human consumption in the United States. 

Although rare, the practice is still legal in 44 states and should be outlawed completely given how beloved these animals are for most Americans. 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. 

The second measure to be approved by the House (H.Res.401) urges China, South Korea and other countries to outlaw and enforce existing laws against the trade of dog and cat meat. 

Buchanan, who co-chairs the Florida delegation with Hastings, said he is optimistic the Senate will take up H.R. 6720 before Congress adjourns this fall. H.Res.401 does not need Senate or presidential approval since it is a non-binding House resolution.

Buchanan said these animals are beloved companions in households across America and deserve this special protection. “Dogs and cats provide love and companionship to millions of people and should not be slaughtered and sold as food,” Buchanan said. 

Hastings added, “I am pleased to again work with Rep. Buchanan to advocate for banning the dog and cat meat trade in America. 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. I look forward to working to ensure its swift passage.”

Buchanan noted that H.Res. 401 would send an important message to South Korea, China and other countries that still engage in dog and cat trade. “The United States should be a leader against this inhumane and unsafe industry,” Buchanan said. 

Sara Amundson, Humane Society Legislative Fund president, said, “We are so pleased that the House passed H.R. 6720, a bill to prohibit the horrific cruelty of the dog and cat meat trade, along with H. Res. 401 urging other nations to adopt and enforce laws banning the dog and cat meat trade. We commend Representatives Buchanan and Hastings for their leadership pressing Congress to address this problem comprehensively.”

Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action, said, “These animals are our dutiful companions and not our dinner fare. We applaud Reps. Buchanan and Hastings for their resolve in pressing ahead with this important legislation.” 

Buchanan co-chairs the Animal Protection Caucus and has been a vocal opponent to weakening the Endangered Species Act.