The House on Wednesday passed a bill outlawing the consumption of cats and dogs in the U.S.
The “Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018” was co-sponsored by Florida lawmakers Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) and Rep. Alcee Hastings (D). It passed in the House by a voice vote, according to CBS News.
The two lawmakers have been working since 2017 to pass a ban on the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption.
The bill would penalize eating cats and dogs with fines of up to $5,000. It also bars the shipping, sale and transportation of the animals for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption.
The bill includes an exception for Indian tribes performing religious ceremonies.
Buchanan’s office noted in a statement that the practice of slaughtering cats and dogs is legal in 44 states, “and should be outlawed completely given how beloved these animals are for most Americans.”
“Dogs and cats provide love and companionship to millions of people and should not be slaughtered and sold as food,” Buchanan said.
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