U.S. House passes animal welfare measures sponsored by Florida lawmakers

It’s not a subject most people want to talk about, but animal protection advocates say it’s necessary to put into federal law.

To that end, two Florida congressmen sponsored a bill that would prohibit anyone from slaughtering dogs and cats for human consumption and levy fines up to $5,000. The bill, sponsored by Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan and Democrat U.S. Rep Alcee Hastings, passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

According to the Animal Welfare Institute, 44 states in America still don’t ban the practice. Though it’s illegal for stores to sell dog or cat meat, it is actually still legal for an individual to kill and eat a dog or cat or sell the meat directly to another person.

“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,” said Hastings.

Buchanan says he hopes the U.S. Senate will approve the bill before it adjourns next month.

The two federal lawmakers also successfully sponsored a resolution urging China, South Korea and other countries to outlaw and enforce existing laws against the trade of dog and cat meat. Because the measure is just a resolution, it doesn’t need approval from the Senate and the president.

“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,” said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

“These animals are our dutiful companions and not our dinner fare,” said Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action.

Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry has spent the past 18 years covering news and politics in the Sunshine State, most recently with FloridaPolitics.com. He worked for five years as the political editor of Creative Loafing in Tampa, and before that he was the assistant news director at WMNF radio, where he served as creator/anchor/producer of the hour-long WMNF Evening News. A San Francisco native, Mitch began his career at KPFA Radio in Berkeley in the 1990's.

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