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Politics

Vern Buchanan, Alcee Hastings Switch Tactics on Bill Banning Slaughter of Cats and Dogs for Human Consumption

September 10, 2018 - 6:00am
Vern Buchanan and Alcee Hastings
Vern Buchanan and Alcee Hastings

Two congressmen from Florida--Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan and Democrat U.S. Rep Alcee Hastings--have revised their proposal to ban the slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption.

Back in March 2017, Buchanan and Hastings unveiled the “Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act," a proposal banning the slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption. Currently, 44 states do not have those type of laws in place. 

Last November, the resolution moved through the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee. A majority of the Florida delegation backed the resolution with Republican U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Matt Gaetz and Bill Posey and Democrats U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist, Val Demings, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Al Lawson, Darren Soto, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson serving as co-sponsors. 

Over the summer, joined by U.S. Rep. Dave Trott, R-Mich., and U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Penn., Buchanan and Hastings wrote the chairs of the congressional Agriculture Committees--U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, and U.S. Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas--on the matter. They also wrote the ranking Democrats on the committees--U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and U.S. Rep. Colin Peterson, D-Minn. 

But, with little in the way of momentum and the clock ticking towards the end of session, the congressmen changed tactics. On Thursday, Buchanan and Hastings announced they had revised the bill, removing jail sentences from the proposal while raising the maximum fine from $2.500 to $5,000. They hope to get the bill passed by the end of the session. 

“Dogs and cats provide important companionship to millions of people and should not be slaughtered and sold as food,” Buchanan said on Thursday. He hoped it would also send a message to other countries including South Korea and China. “The United States should be a leader against this inhumane and unsafe industry.”

“I am pleased to again work with Rep. Buchanan to advocate for banning the dog and cat meat trade in America. This bill is a reflection of our values and gives us a greater standing in urging all other countries to end this horrific practice once and for all. I look forward to working to ensure its swift passage,” Hastings said. 

The issue is not a new one for either of the two congressmen from the Sunshine State who are the co-chairs of the Florida delegation. Hastings has been leading the charge on Capitol Hill in condemning the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China where 10,000 dogs are slaughtered each year for human consumption. Buchanan has also garnered national attention for his work on animal issues. The Humane Society of the United States named Buchanan as its legislator of the year in 2016, the first time a member of the Florida delegation has received the honor. Buchanan received a 100 score from the Humane Society and fought for some of the group’s top priorities. 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. 

Comments

Thank you Conor Lamb for cosponsorship of the Safeguard American Food Exports Act. Horses are not raised nor regulated for human consumption and are unsafe. Food Safety does matter and it’s time this important legislation be heard on the House floor.

To all who actually care about our companion animals, please urge the killing of this bill as written. Butchering our cats and dogs with only a fine as some kind of flimsy deterrence? Setting precedence this way flies in the face of all of the hard work people have been doing for decades to get jail time and felony convictions for animal cruelty and abuse!!! Just imagine an abuser getting off free by pleading that he/she was going to eat the dog or cat that was horribly abused. Are you kidding me? Who's fundraising off this? Who's padding their resume' claiming to care about companion animals? Make it a felony, give them jail time but do not treat it like a traffic ticket.

Why weren't horses included in the Dog and Cat, Companion Animal Bill? Actually glad they weren't if they lowered the penalty to 'the cost of doing business'. In a time when we are trying to mandate jail sentences for neglect, abuse and cruelty, we have lowered the bar to a fine which will be used as precedent. Now dogs and cats can be slaughtered, imported and exported resulting in a very low fine. NOT GOOD. Death and the commercial slaughter of pet or companion animals should/SHALL be commensurate with cruelty/abuse/neglect laws. All progress has gone in the direction of making cruelty to animals a felony....now a new precedent that you can slaughter and sell dogs and cats with a low fine penalty? SOMEONE TOOK A FALL WITH THE BILL.

Please get the SAFE Act to the floor while we have this momentum.

Thank You Conor Lamb for co-sponsoring the Safeguard American Foods Export Act! Horses are NOT raised as food and have no place in the American food chain! Thank You!

And following this, BIG UNCLE will now decide whether I should be allowed to eat lettuce or drink cow's milk or whatever. My diet is my business and not the business of the US Government.

This polarizing, horrible post is even beneath you Kevin.

The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act HR/113/S/1706 now has 218 cosponsors, which is a majority. This is the first time the SAFE Act has received support of this level in the House. Let's hope Buchanan can get the bill to the floor for a vote, and put and end to the poisoning our food supply with toxic horse meat.

"Switching" is a requisite "way of life & survival" for these pettifogging, pandering (read: "prostituting"), political hangers-on adhering to the "government mammary" for all they are worth...VOTE selectively Folks! ! !

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