Lawmakers target dog meat trade in the United States

By on March 7, 2017 with 52 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

If we are going to ask the rest of the world to end the era of dog- and cat-meat consumption, we have to establish a bright-line legal standard against the practice in the United States. We took one big step toward achieving that goal today by working with some of our strongest congressional allies. U.S. Representatives Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla., Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Dave Trott, R-Mich. and Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., have just introduced legislation that would ban the dog and cat meat trade in America.

Ending dog-meat eating, and shuttering thousands of dog meat farms, is one of the top priorities for Humane Society International. Estimates suggest that butchers kill 30 million dogs a year across Asia. There are around 17,000 dog meat farms in South Korea alone. Cats fall victim to this cruel trade too, with several million killed annually in China, and the trade has been documented in other countries as well.

While consumption of dog and cat meat in the United States is limited, it does exist. It is imperative that we strike it down so that it will not expand, and so that we send a signal to the world that we are taking action against the trade here at home. The passage of a bill here condemning this trade would help shine a spotlight on those countries where this industry is not yet outlawed, and where our work and intervention are desperately needed.

This new bill, the Dog and Cat Meat Prohibition Act of 2017, would amend the federal Animal Welfare Act to prohibit the slaughter and trade of dogs and cats for human consumption, and would provide penalties for individuals involved in the dog or cat meat trade. The legislation would also serve as an important expression of unity with countries and regions such as Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Taiwan that have dog meat bans in place, and help us in our work to end the trade in other countries, including China, South Korea, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

On January 6th, Rep. Hastings — who’s been a tireless leader on the topic — reintroduced his Congressional Resolution condemning China’s Yulin dog meat festival (H. Res. 30, currently with the bipartisan support of 107 cosponsors). The legislation introduced today builds on that effort, and very meaningfully.

Thanks in part to our campaign, consumer interest in dog meat is dropping. HSI, working with local partners, is making progress toward stopping the dog meat festival in Yulin, where butchers and traders slaughter thousands of dogs and cats each year. We have turned global media attention to this gruesome spectacle, and as a result, the festival has shrunk considerably in size since the original festival began in 2010. HSI and its local partners also have been working to rescue dogs from trucks bound for the dog meat markets. In China and in South Korea, we are rescuing dogs and giving them a second chance at life. We’ve brought hundreds of dogs back from these countries, saving them from being butchered, and worked with our Shelter Placement Partners to find them new, loving, lifelong homes. A sharper turnaround in their lives could not be imagined.

It’s time to end the ugly, long-concealed era of people eating companion animals. When we achieve that goal, it will be one more step in our social and cultural evolution for the better. Call your lawmakers, and help us move ahead by getting this legislation passed in Congress.

Companion Animals, Humane Society International, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Pearl ober says:

    No Dog and Cat meat Trade in the UNITED STATES. .we already have enough sick ass cruel people that abuse animals, we do not need any more

  2. Christina Mexicotte says:

    ” Do unto others what you want done unto you. ” Death sentences to everyone involved in any aspect of this violence, torture, mass murdering, eating pets as food!

  3. Charra says:

    This is amazing. I’ve been writing my representative, Dave Trott, to what I thought was no avail and now he’s one of the main four people promoting this act!

    • Jered McDougal says:


    • Diane says:

      Wish my Rep. Tom McClintock would similarly respond. Six months ago, as it involved China and S. Korea, he told me that this
      was none of the business of the U.S. Government – to interfere in another country’s business. Wonder if he’s changed his mind since there are so many legislators now supporting bans on this animal cruelty.

  4. Susan Foster says:

    I think that eating farmed animals is just as bad as eating pets. It’s so unnecessary, so horrible for the planet and it’s only because we don’t know the farm animals as individuals that anyone can stand to eat them. But I’m VERY glad if Congress is considering moving in the right direction on any animal/humane issues, considering all the terrible things they’ve been doing since Trump “won.”

    • Elaine Landry says:

      I agree ! I don’t want any animal to be killed !

    • Nicole Hoelle says:

      Agree, Susan and am a vegan because of it. However, I don’t know what one has to do with the other. Should they not go after dog slaughterers because it’s just as bad to kill farm animals? What they do is egregious and needs to be stopped just as much as cow-killing does; these dogs are pets–stolen from homes, domesticated and used to living among people. They are deliberately subjected to the most painful torture including crucifixion, bludgeoning, kicking, slamming, stabbing; they are thrown repeatedly against walls, as the Chinese believe that this torture makes the meat tastier due to release of adrenaline, etc. It’s illegal and, so, completely unregulated. Yes, it’s all bad but that argument leads to no action. We need to deal with this as well as farm-animal slaughter. Bringing up farm animals here is like bringing up the problems with oceans in a post about the bee-crisis. This is about dogs. There are separate posts and campaigns about cows. Each matter deserves its own separate and mindful attention.

  5. Gisela Cremer says:

    Warum? Der beste Freund des Menschen! Warum quälen wir andere Lebewesen und erfinden dann das Wort ” human”?

  6. Gisela Cremer says:

    Warum ist der Mensch anderen Lebewesen gegenüber so grausam? Und dann das Wort” human”!??

  7. Priscilla Molina says:

    This abomination has to end. The methods n belief that the companion animals need to be conscious is a level of human Depravity that has to end. Thank you for your work. Here is the US DC phone number to call to find your House Rep and Ask them to support H.Res 30 202-225-2131

  8. Sue ebbens says:

    Brilliant article, speaks so much sense

  9. darcy majus says:

    After learning about this dog meat trade in China my life has changed. I cannot fathom people (if you want to call them that) performing such cruelty on an animal. To think that the more suffering these animals endure, their meat will taste better. This is sick and it’s wrong.

    I pray daily that God will intercede and stop this horrific abuse that these animals face at the hands of humans. I pray that the suffering will come to an end. These dogs deserve the respect of life as a living being. In God’s name we pray for them.

  10. Yolanda Marsh says:

    This is barbaric and inhuman and has no place in a civilised world

  11. Verena Kölling says:

    Diese Tierquälerei muss ein Ende haben.

  12. Jeannette de Agnolo says:

    Bitte verbieten Sie den Hundefleischhandel in Asien!!!

  13. Sheri Adams says:

    This has to STOP!! Vote for legislators that care!!!

  14. Dont want to be associated with Humans anymore says:

    We live in a sad culture in North America today. Abuse or bad behaviour is everywhere and it goes after the ‘innocent’ or more vulnerable ones. Animals, older people, women and children. People are accepting behaviours that shouldn’t be accepted because they see a select few promoting that its the way to be. More needs to be done to show why eating dog or cat meat is just wrong. These animals do so much for people especially with all the stresses and this is the thanks they get.

    • Deedee says:

      I am with you, you spoke every thought I have been thinking.
      Everything gentle, kind, caring and beautiful is under constant attack, being tortured, abused, harassed . I’m so absolutely saddened at the DE -EVOLUTION of humanity.
      People need to be accountable for their selfish sick and evil behavior toward each other and other living things.
      If we can’t be kind, we don’t deserve the many treasures offered to us on this planet, and we should be removed .

    • Kyle McRay Cowan says:

      And other animals don’t? Pets do not have any more rights to live than farm animals.

  15. Tammy Slack says:


  16. Scott Fuchs says:

    Please stop this

  17. Doreen Rossan says:

    The other most important items to pass should be that our make up foundation not be able to use cats and dogs to test their products. So many animals are so tortured by this that most will die. There is such a thing as a scientist or people that work in this industry that could come up with a different way to test their products.

    Si many name brand products claim they do not test here – which is a cover up as they have China or other like companies do their dirty work so they can claim they don’t use animals. I’ve seen video of what these dogs go through because of this – today there are more companies that do not use dangerous chemicals or animals testing. This should be a must for our country. Trust me, these brands still would make money but our animals wouldn’t have to suffer!

  18. Marie says:

    I became a vegetarian almost a year ago due the public awareness on animal farm abuse. I cannot imagine eating dogs and cats. It blows my mind. They are supposed to be loved pets!

  19. Elizabeth Newber says:

    They are innocent animals, can’t imagine such cruelty and should come to an end. Thank God for this legislature, pray good will come from this.

  20. Jacqueline Ennis says:

    An article in the NYT today reported on the huge appetite for dog meat and cat meat in Indonesia. I had no idea. I thought maybe with China and S. Korea phasing out their farms there might be an end to it.

    • JANICE AEDY says:

      China and South Korea have NOT phased out their farms at all. It is still as rife as it ever was. China tortures and murders approx. 30 million dogs every year and also millions of cats. The same for South Korea with Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia not far behind.

      The trade is still very virile and with the Yulin “Festival” in China starting again on 21st June for 10 horrifying days of torture and murder, another 20,000 to 25,000 dogs and thousands of cats will again suffer these atrocities. There has been conflicting reports recently that Yulin this year has been cancelled. IT HAS NOT!!!!!!!!!!!! This was a downright cruel lie to make the activists back down!!

      So you see, it is still the same as it ever was with the sadistic countries involved refusing to do anything to stop it!

      • Kyle McRay Cowan says:

        No different than the slaughter of Cows and Pigs here…go visit a slaughterhouse sometime. If you are afraid to look at how your dinner is being treated maybe you should eat something else. MAKE NO MISTAKE, animals in the US are TORTURED before they hit your plate.

  21. Henrietta Komras says:

    We live in a patriarchal global society where the values of domination over others, greed and exploitation of the earth, making war on others, worshiping the warrior who kills as as hero, and subservience of animals and women are paramount.
    This has resulted in a world which is :
    1) filled with nuclear weapons
    2) on the brink of climate catastrophe
    3) speeding toward the extinction of many beautiful animals
    4) butchering and slaughtering BILLIONS OF INNOCENT ANIMALS for profit
    5) Violent and lacking in any empathy towards others.

    The only way to change this world is to change the paradigm that worships blood, killing, and suppressing empathy and compassion.

    Unless we do, “human” beings (who mostly are not human) will be next to go extinct. And I will celebrate that.

    • Deedee Hefley says:

      Well said !!! I fear you are right when you say that human kind will be next to become extinct if we don’t care for the animals and resources that we’ve been given! What this selfish, uncaring world we live in (and I am so sorry to have to say it, but that includes many many Americans) doesn’t realize is that these horrible acts of cruelty and such atrocities have already had a negative global Impact, and have already accelerated our planet’s depletion of resources to the extent that I believe we will see Armageddon within the next generation or two.

      Every time I attend church, there is a prayer that we say asking God to help us be good stewards of the earth and all the animals we were given by Him. I believe we need to end these cruel practices against animal-kind, and the BEST PLACE TO START IS WITH ENDING THE HORRIFIC PRACTICE OF TORTURE AND CRUELTY FOR THE CONSUMPTION OF DOGS AND CATS IN YULIN, CHINA !!!!!

  22. Suzi Weaver says:

    Stop this horrific cruelty against God’s most Precious Innocent Animals!
    Humans need to Protect these babies, not abuse them!!!

  23. Suzi Weaver says:

    Stop this horrific cruelty against God’s Precious Innocent Animals!!!
    Humans are suppose to Protect them, not abuse them!!!

  24. Marilyn Wilson says:

    Go Veg and never look back!

  25. Lizann says:

    The dogs are BOILED ALIVE!
    I just saw it on “Alarma T.V.”
    They put the dogs in large pots outside, and SLOWLY boil them alive.
    The dogs are not completely submerged (which makes it more horribly painful).
    As they desperately try to escape from the scalding Hell, they are pushed back in with large, wooden stirring sticks, as the people LAUGH.
    Sometimes two, young small dogs are put in the same stew pot.
    The barbaric killers say the more the animal suffers, the better, because it makes the meat more tender!!!
    Dogs being boiled alive videos are easily found on the internet.
    It is without a doubt, the most horrible thing I have ever seen.

  26. Patricia Rose says:

    How could the united states allow our pets stolen or domesticated to be killed and use for me or even ship it in from another country and which I heard they were doing and if you are from another country whether it be China or any other area over there that kills our pets and Steeles pets you can to the United States to be like us not like you were we do not eat our pets and if the ones that do they need to go back overseas and live where they like killing animals

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