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U.S. House of Representatives passes bill and resolution to stop trade in dog and cat meat and bill to authorize State Department rewards to thwart wildlife trafficking

WASHINGTON (September 12, 2018)—The Humane Society Legislative Fund and the Humane Society of the United States are applauding House passage of three pro-animal measures on the suspension calendar today – a bill to prohibit the dog and cat meat trade in the U.S., a resolution to urge other nations to end the dog and cat meat trade in their countries, and a bill to combat wildlife trafficking globally. All three passed by voice vote following strong bipartisan statements of support.

H.R. 6720 makes it illegal to knowingly slaughter, ship, transport, move, deliver, receive, possess, purchase, sell or donate a dog or cat or his or her parts for human consumption, and authorizes a fine of up to $5,000 for each violation. H. Res. 401 urges the governments of China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, India and other nations to adopt and enforce existing laws banning the dog and cat meat trade.

“We commend Reps. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., and Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., for their leadership in getting the overwhelming majority of the U.S. House to pass legislation to end the horrific cruelty of the dog and cat meat trade,” said Humane Society Legislative Fund President Sara Amundson. “Today’s action demonstrates the commitment of Congress to prevent a truly appalling trade from taking hold in the U.S. and to strengthen our hand in seeking to end it worldwide. Around 30 million dogs and untold numbers of cats are subjected to this brutal industry globally every year, with animals often snatched off the street or stolen from loving families, still wearing collars as they are subjected to unspeakable abuse to end up on someone’s dinner plate. We thank our supporters who contacted their legislators to help advance this priority campaign led by our colleagues at Humane Society International.”

The House global resolution is now finished. The groups urge the Senate to swiftly approve the common-sense domestic ban bill, which mirrors provisions the Senate already passed in July as part of its Farm Bill. (The precursor ban bill, H.R. 1406, was incorporated into the House Farm Bill, and has 245 cosponsors.)

Momentum is growing around the world to end the dog and cat meat trade. Humane Society International/Korea recently delivered 1 million signatures to end the dog meat industry to South Korean President Moon Jae-In. HSI has worked with South Korean dog meat farmers to help them transition to more humane livelihoods, closing 12 dog meat farms and bringing more than 1,300 dogs to Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States where they could be placed for adoption. The dog meat trade is outlawed in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore. The government of Indonesia has also pledged to ban the trade. In a 2016 poll, more than 8.6 million Chinese people expressed support for a proposal to ban trade in dog and cat meat, making it the most popular of all 142 legislative proposals made available for online voting in China that year.

“We also applaud Reps. Dan Donovan, R- N.Y., and Joaquin Castro, D- Tex., for their leadership to end the scourge of wildlife trafficking,” Amundson said. H.R. 6197, the Rescuing Animals with Rewards (RAWR) Act, builds on a law enacted in 2016 (P.L. 114-231). This bill authorizes the Department of State to use its successful rewards program to target wildlife traffickers.

“Wildlife trafficking is one of the most lucrative illicit trades in the world, bringing in over $10 billion a year in illegal profits and threatening endangered species worldwide,” Amundson said. “The RAWR Act provides an important additional tool to combat illegal wildlife trafficking on a global scale.”

Media Contact: Emily Ehrhorn: 202-779-1814; eehrhorn@humanesociety.org

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The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at hslf.org, on our blog at animalsandpolitics.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/humanelegislation and on Twitter at twitter.com/HSLegFund.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at humanesociety.org. Subscribe to the blog, A Humane Nation. Join The HSUS on Facebook. Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app.