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A ban on killing and eating dogs and cats may finally be introduced

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A lot of people in the U.S. were recently shocked at the dog-eating practices in South Korea during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. That controversy aside, there are even more U.S. citizens who aren’t aware that eating cats and dogs in the U.S. is actually not forbidden. Not only that, but it is also practiced. Not in great numbers, fortunately – in fact, it’s rather rare – but it is still practiced nonetheless. Particularly among some immigrant groups, eating cats and dogs is a traditional practice. Fortunately, a ban on killing and eating dogs and cats may finally be introduced country-wide.

Last Wednesday, an amendment was added to a farm bill and got approved by the House Agriculture Committee. This amendment aims to ban people from “knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption.” It also addresses the transporting and participating in other commercial activities that may be related to eating pet meat.

Making a meal out of a dog or a cat may soon be punishable with prison.

Dog and cat slaughter is already rare in the U.S. and is even banned in commercial slaughterhouses. However, it is still practiced on a small scale by certain immigrant groups. There are only several states in the U.S. that have already banned such small-scale pet killings, including New York, New Jersey, and California. If the proposed amendment passes, it will make the practice illegal in all of the U.S. The proposal is a part of a reauthorization of Agriculture Department programs. Violators of the bill will be punished by up to a year in jail, a fine, or both.

Organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States have been advocating for the ban of pet killings for food worldwide for years. And while there are countries that are still very far from accepting such a ban, the U.S. may finally make this step. The amendment has been offered by Republican Representative Jeff Denham of California and it is very similar to another bill that was introduced by Democratic Representative Alcee Hastings of Florida. The latter bill had 239 co-sponsors.

Still, it is unclear as to whether the bill pass or not. This $867 billion farm bill approved by the House Agriculture panel aims to do a lot of other things as well, and many of them may decide its future. The bill also aims to reauthorize all U.S. Department of Agriculture programs. These include farm subsidies and food stamps, for example. We’ll see what happens this autumn, as the new law is due by Sept. 30 – that‘s when the currently existing programs will begin to expire. The Senate Agriculture Committee hasn‘t considered the proposal yet.

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