On Monday, U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., sent a letter to Fujisue Kenzo of the House of Councilors in the National Diet of Japan regarding a ban on the trade and consumption of dog and cat meat worldwide.
Fujisue has been a leader of the campaign to encourage Japan’s Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide to join the International Agreement to Prohibit the Eating of Dogs and Cats. In addition to the dangerous and inhumane conditions of unregulated wildlife and live animal markets, these animals may be ill, tortured, and slaughtered in close proximity to humans, which can facilitate zoonotic disease transmission. In the 2018 Farm Bill, Hastings championed a federal prohibition, ensuring the United States’ leadership in the pursuit of a global ban.
The letter is below.
Dear Councilor Fujiesue Kenzo:
First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your leadership as the Liberal Democratic Party’s designated representative to the Parliamentary League for Animal Welfare. I applaud you and your colleagues’ letter to Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide to ban the consumption of dogs and cats by initiating the International Agreement to Prohibit the Eating of Cats and Dogs. As you know, such a broad demonstration of support brings us closer to achieving universal prohibition of this abhorrent practice. I welcome the opportunity to engage with you and your colleagues of the Parliamentary League for Animal Welfare to continue our joint efforts to raise awareness of the importance of our nations’ leadership in banning the consumption and trade of dog and cat meat.
As you may know, I, alongside a bipartisan group of colleagues, championed the inclusion of a federal prohibition on the U.S. domestic dog and cat meat trade and consumption within the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, which was subsequently signed into law. Additionally, in the 116th Congress, I introduced H.Con.Res.71, a bicameral resolution calling on all nations to join the U.S. in ending the consumption and trade of dog and cat meat and to adopt and enforce laws banning their trade. This call to action was included in our Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations legislation, acknowledging the 2018 domestic ban and urging the United States Secretary of Agriculture to “move forward with an international agreement to ban the trade of dog and cat meat worldwide.” The U.S. is placed in a strong position to partner with other nations such as Japan to make meaningful progress on an international ban.
I am truly humbled to be leading this movement and to be providing a voice for the voiceless at all levels of government across the globe. I fully intend to ensure our nation honors our commitment to encourage other international leaders to join us in this endeavor. Thank you again for your leadership in the fight to end the global dog and cat meat trade. I look forward to future collaboration with you and the World Dog Alliance to end this terrible industry once and for all.