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The House passed the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018 on Wednesday, Sept. 12, making it illegal in the US to kill cats and dogs for the purpose of consumption.
The passing of the bill is a win for animal rights groups, who say there is a small underground market for dog and cat meat in the US.
The bill states that individuals will be fined $5,000 for knowingly killing, transporting, possessing, buying, selling or donating cats and dogs or their parts for human consumption. Prior to the litigation, the practice of killing cats and dogs for food was legal in 44 states.
Though individuals in some states could kill cats and dogs, it is illegal for slaughterhouses to handle dogs and cats, and it is illegal for stores to sell the meat.
The bill, which will amend the federal Animal Welfare Act, comes from Florida Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Alcee Hastings (D-FL).
“Dogs and cats provide love and companionship to millions of people and should not be slaughtered and sold as food,” Buchanan tells USA Today.
Along with the bill was a non-binding resolution passed by the House that encourages other nations to outlaw the cat and dog meat trade.
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