Combatting Animal Cruelty and the Dog and Cat Meat Trade

On September 14, 2016, hundreds of people travelled from across the country to attend a briefing that I hosted on the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. At the briefing, Marc Ching, the Founder of the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, played 60 seconds of footage he secretly recorded documenting the inhumane slaughter of dogs in cities throughout Asia. The compilation was disturbing: dogs being burned alive, dogs being skinned alive, and dogs being boiled alive, dogs having their paws cleaved off with dull butchers knives, and dogs being staked to the ground and beaten to death. No one can watch this type of footage and walk away unaffected.

Rep. Hastings with Valarie Ianniello, Director of Operations
of the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, and Liberty,
a dog rescued from a slaughterhouse in Cambodia
after having its paws cut off.
                                   

I have introduced a number of measures in the 115th Congress to combat animal cruelty and end the global dog meat trade. With the help of thousands of activists across the country and around the world, these bills and resolutions are reshaping the debate on animal welfare.

H.Res.30, Condemning the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China, and urging China to end the dog meat trade

On January 6, 2017, I reintroduced my resolution condemning the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China, and urging China to end the dog meat trade. I will soon introduce legislation urging all nations to end the trade and cruel practices that often come with it. While the majority of people in China do not consume dog meat and dog meat is not a part of mainstream Chinese culinary practices (in fact, millions of Chinese citizens recently voted in support of a legislative proposal by Zhen Xiaohe, a deputy to the National People’s Congress of China, to ban the dog meat trade), the government turns a blind eye to the practice of torturing dogs and cats. I have always advocated for the humane treatment of all living things. This resolution is the first of its kind to focus Congress’ attention toward animal welfare issues overseas, and I will continue to work towards its passage.

H.R.1406, the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2017

This bipartisan legislation would unify animal cruelty laws across the country to prohibit the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption. Currently, the consumption of dog and cat meat is permitted in 44 states. Dogs and cats provide companionship to millions of Americans, and it is long overdue for Congress to unify animal cruelty laws across our country to explicitly ban the killing and consumption of these animals.

H.Res.___ Urging  China,  South  Korea,  Vietnam,  Thailand,  the  Philippines,  Indonesia,  Cambodia,  Laos,  India,  and  all  nations  to  outlaw  the  dog  and  cat  meat  trade and to enforce existing laws against the trade

Approximately 30,000,000 dogs and a large number of cats are killed for human consumption annually across the globe. This display of animal cruelty is not only inhumane, but also a threat to public health for citizens and international visitors. This resolution affirms the United States’ commitment to the protection of animals and advances the animal protection movement rapidly growing around the world.