Eating dogs and cats banned in House-cleared bill

Bill prohibiting dog and cat meat sales passes U.S. House (Emma Simmons |

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBMA) On Wednesday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018, aiming to prohibit the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption.

The USDA inspects commonly consumed meat, such as beef and pork, upon arrival to the United States. However, ABC 33/40's Andrew Donley confirmed with a USDA regional representative that domesticated dog and cat meat is not subjected to inspection.

House-cleared HB 6720 prohibits people from knowingly slaughtering dogs and cats for human consumption. It would also be illegal to "knowingly ship, transport, move, deliver, receive, possess, purchase, sell, or donate," for the same purpose. Only five states, California, Georgia, Michigan, New York, and Virginia, have enacted laws prohibiting the practice.

Donley spoke with Alabama Department of Public Health officials, who claim to have no knowledge of finding dog or cat meat inside any restaurant in the state.

If the bill becomes law, anyone found in violation could face a $5,000 fine for each violation. However, there is an exception for Native American tribal ceremonies.

"Exception For Indian Tribes.—The prohibition in subsection (a) shall not apply to an Indian (as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304)) carrying out any activity described in subsection (a) for the purpose of a religious ceremony."

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