The legislation, passed by a US Congressional committee, calls on countries like China, India, South Korea and Vietnam to outlaw the dog and cat meat trade and enforce existing law against the trade.

Washington : A US Congressional committee has passed a legislation, calling on countries like China, India, South Korea and Vietnam to outlaw the dog and cat meat trade and enforce existing law against the trade.

Passed by the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, the legislation No H R 401 called for an end to the dog and cat meat trade on grounds of cruelty and human health hazard.

World Health Organisation (WHO) has linked the dog meat industry to human outbreaks of trichinellosis, cholera, and rabies, although consumption of dog meat alone has not been confirmed to spread rabies to humans, it said.

Those involved in the dog meat industry are at an increased health risk for zoonotic diseases, which can transfer from dogs to humans through infectious material such as saliva, the committee said.

The legislation now heads to the House of Representative for consideration.

A similar version of the bill also ends to be passed by the Senate, before it can be signed into law by he US President Donald Trump.

Proponents of the legislation say that many government officials, civil society advocates, and activists are working to end the dog and cat meat trade on anti-cruelty and public health grounds.

The governments of Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have passed laws banning the slaughter of dogs for meat consumption.

Chinese activists have claimed that stolen pets are sometimes used in the dog meat market in China, the legislation said. Humane Society International, Animals Asia Foundation, and others estimate that 30,000,000 dogs and 10,000,000 cats die annually across Asia for the trade in dog and cat meat.

It is estimated as many as 200,000 live dogs are trafficked each year from Thailand across the Mekong River to Vietnam, where dog meat is considered a delicacy.

Cat meat, known locally as “little tiger”, is also a delicacy in Vietnam and, although officially banned, is widely available in some restaurants.

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