Hastings Urges Farm Bill Conference Committee to Retain Ban on Dog and Cat Meat Trade
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), along with Congressmen Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Dave A. Trott (R-MI), and Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA) sent the following letter to Chairmen K. Michael Conaway and Pat Roberts, and Ranking Members Collin C. Peterson and Debbie Stabenow of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee. The letter urges the Conference Committee to retain legislation prohibiting the slaughter of dogs and cats for the purpose of human consumption in the United States, a practice that is still legal in 44 states. On March 3, 2017, Hastings introduced H.R. 1406, the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2017. Language was included in both the 2018 House and Senate Farm Bills. Since its introduction, H.R. 1406 has garnered the bipartisan support of 245 co-sponsors. (Please find attached and below a copy of the letter):
August 2, 2018
Dear Chairmen Conaway and Roberts and Ranking Members Peterson and Stabenow:
As you prepare to go to conference on H.R.2/S.3042, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, we would like to thank you for including language on the prohibition of the dog and cat meat trade in both versions of the bill. We write to urge you to retain this language in conference. As you may know, we introduced H.R.1406, the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2017 on March 7, 2017. Since its introduction, H.R.1406 has garnered the bipartisan support of 245 co-sponsors.
While the slaughter of dogs and cats for consumption is not commonplace in the United States, it is not explicitly prohibited in federal law. Unbelievably, it is still legal to slaughter dogs and cats for the purpose of human consumption in 44 states across the country. This important legislation will prohibit the slaughter and trade of dogs and cats for human consumption, and provide penalties to ensure that individuals involved in the dog or cat meat trade are held accountable.
Dogs and cats play a vital role in the collective experience of Americans and deserve protection and compassion. In the United States, dogs and cats are owned for companionship, recreation, show, and sport, not for human consumption. It is long overdue that we explicitly ban the killing and consumption of these animals.
We thank you again for including this language of the ban on the dog and cat meat trade, and strongly urge you to retain this language in the final version of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Thank you very much for your time and attention to our request. We stand ready to do all that we can to assist.
Alcee L. Hastings