Hastings’ Statement on National Pet Day
(Fort Lauderdale, FL) Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) issued the following statement in recognition of National Pet Day, which takes place every year on April 11th:
“National Pet Day encourages us to celebrate our fuzziest family members and bring attention to plight of many animals who are awaiting their forever homes. This day was founded in 2006 by Pet and Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Welfare Advocate Colleen Paige, to help raise public awareness about the plight of many different kinds of animals. This is a common sentiment among animal rights activists, and I want to give recognition to all the organizations I have worked with personally in the mission to protect our beloved pets. The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, the Humane Society of the United States, and Social Compassion in Legislation have worked extensively to better the lives of our four-legged friends. Together, we recently introduced H.R. 1406, the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill, which prohibits the slaughter and trade of dogs and cats for human consumption in the United States.
“On January 6, 2017, I reintroduced H.Res.30 – Condemning the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China, and urging China to end the dog meat trade. This horrific festival dates back to 2009-2010, when it was launched by dog meat traders as a commercial enterprise to boost flagging sales of dog meat. More than 10,000 dogs are reported to be captured, transported and slaughtered every year for this Dog Meat festival, with more than 10 million dogs killed annually in China for the dog meat trade. Animal welfare groups have found that a number of these dogs are stolen pets taken from their homes, still wearing their collars when they reach the slaughterhouse. Many dogs die during transport to the slaughterhouses after days or weeks without food or water, and others suffer illness and injury during transport, such as broken bones. These dogs suffer mentally from watching other dogs being disemboweled and blow-torched in front of them.
“This practice, in my opinion, is completely unacceptable, and can be stopped by the diligent efforts of members of the Chinese government. Although the Yulin city government withdrew as a sponsor of the Dog Meat Festival, it has taken no meaningful action to enforce China’s existing laws and regulations on animal disease control, food safety, trans-provincial dog transport, or youth protection, all of which are breached by the dog meat trade.
“Activists from across the globe have continued the fight against this barbaric practice. I have been honored to work with the Humane Society International, the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, the Vanderpump Dog Foundation, Duo Duo, the Animal Welfare Institute, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Citizens Lobbyists for H.Res.30, as well as countless other organizations to bring awareness and hopefully change to this inhumane practice and torture of dogs.
“I will soon be introducing a resolution denouncing the global dog meat trade, by urging all countries that allow this cruel and barbaric practice to end it once and for all. I do plan on holding another Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill in the coming months, to provide an opportunity for animal rights activists to speak on behalf of the voiceless.
“As we celebrate National Pet Day, I want reiterate my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have dedicated their lives to help, protect, and save animals not only here in the United States, but also across the globe.”