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Rick Scott, Jeff Merkley, Florida Congressmen Offer Resolution to End Dog and Cat Meat Trade

Three members of the Florida delegation on Capitol Hill are championing a resolution “calling for an end to the global trade of dog and cat meat.”

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oreg., introduced the resolution in the U.S. Senate last week with U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., as the co-sponsor. Over in the U.S. House, U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., brought out the resolution with U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., as the main co-sponsor. Almost a dozen other members of the House are backing the resolution, including U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla.

“Dogs and cats provide love and companionship to millions of people and should not be slaughtered and sold as food,” said Buchanan. “The United States sent a strong message in 2018 by passing the late Rep. Alcee Hastings’s and my legislation to permanently ban the practice domestically. The U.S. should continue to be a leader against this inhumane and unsafe industry by passing this resolution condemning the practice across the globe.”

“According to nonprofit organizations, approximately 30 million dogs and 10 million cats are slaughtered yearly to sustain the dog and cat meat trade. When transported to slaughterhouses, dogs and cats are packed tightly in trucks for hours or days without food or water. As a result, many dogs and cats suffer immensely and die during transport. The ones that survive the journey are slaughtered in the cruelest ways possible, including being clubbed, having their throats cut while still conscious, being burned alive, and being electrocuted,” Moskowitz’s office noted. “The issue surrounding this inhumane practice goes even further. In addition to the cruelty of the dog and cat meat trade, consuming this kind of meat poses severe health risks to humans, and several diseases, such as rabies, cholera, and trichinellas, are associated with it. There is also a risk of spreading mutated canine influenza and canine coronavirus to humans, which could cause another pandemic to reach the United States.”

“The global suffering of dogs and cats for human consumption is barbaric and unconscionable. The same animals that we consider valued members of our families are victims of some of the worst examples of human cruelty. This resolution is an important step in eliminating the pervasive abuse of dogs and cats worldwide,” said Moskowitz.

“Dogs and cats provide love and companionship to millions of people and should not be slaughtered and sold as food,” said Buchanan. “The United States sent a strong message in 2018 by passing the late Rep. Alcee Hastings’s and my legislation to permanently ban the practice domestically. The U.S. should continue to be a leader against this inhumane and unsafe industry by passing this resolution condemning the practice across the globe.”

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“Around the world, millions of dogs and cats are subjected to inhumane conditions before being cruelly slaughtered. These disturbing practices must end. This resolution sends a resounding message to the countries that perpetrate these abuses that the United States is committed to enforcing critical animal welfare standards, and urges the global community to do the same,” said Merkley.

“It is unimaginable to think of cats and dogs being tortured and killed for people to eat. We must end this disturbing and inhumane practice now and I am proud to stand alongside my colleagues to send this important message in a bicameral and bipartisan resolution,” said Scott.

Moskowitz’s resolution was sent to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs and the Agriculture Committees. Merkley’s resolution was sent to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Buchanan and the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., worked from 2018 to 2020 to warn about live animal markets and events in China, including the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. They urged then-President Donald Trump to call for China to ban live animal markets. Also that year, the two congressmen teamed up with Merkley to introduce a resolution “calling on all nations to end their dog and cat meat trade and to enforce existing laws against the trade.”

Buchanan, one of the leaders of the Animal Rights Caucus, has increasingly focused on animal welfare issues in recent years. In 2016, Buchanan brought out the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act which bans exporting horses to Mexican slaughterhouses. Buchanan has also led the charge on Capitol Hill to stop domestic slaughterhouses from creating horse meat for human consumption. Back in December 2018, Trump signed a proposal from Buchanan and Hastings banning the slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption as part of the Farm Bill. In 2019, Buchanan and then U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., brought out the “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act.”

Back in May, Buchanan and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., teamed up a proposal to “permanently ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption” and “prohibit the export of live horses to Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses to be sold overseas.” Buchanan introduced the “Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act” with Schakowsky as the co-sponsor. Over in the U.S. Senate, U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and Bob Menendez, D-NJ, are championing the proposal.

Author

  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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