On December 20th, in a groundbreaking victory for animals in the United States and across the world, the “Dog and Cat Meat Prohibition Act” was signed into law by President Trump as a provision of the Farm Bill. The bill was spearheaded and sponsored by the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation (AHWF), a nonprofit that rescues dogs and cats from the dog and cat meat trade abroad. The Act makes it a federal offense to slaughter, trade and import/export dogs and cats for human consumption, a practice that was previously legal in 44 states.
While the practice is uncommon in America, a number of recent cases were discovered in Hawaii, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and New York. Many of these dogs and cats were taken from shelters, some found as strays, others were stolen pets from families. While the ban on dog and cat meat consumption only applies to the practice within the United States, it will also serve to strengthen the position of activists fighting against the dog and cat meat trade around the world.
The Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act was first introduced in March 2017 by Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL). The AHWF has lobbied for The Dog and Cat Meat Prohibition Act, knowing that the United States cannot condemn the practice around the world if it is still legally permissible within its own borders.
“This is a major victory for the animals, prohibiting the consumption of two entire species, while at the same time making America the leader in putting an end to this brutal practice worldwide,” said Marc Ching of AHWF. “When we started this all we ever wanted to do was make a difference, to move towards bringing an end to the suffering of these animals who are like our children, our family.”