Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Did We Really Need a Law Against Eating Cats and Dogs?

We all enjoy Republicans and Democrats reaching across the aisle for the common good. But for a law against eating cats and dogs? Is this all we have left to agree on?

After a year in the making, the House has passed a bipartisan bill, originated by Florida Reps. Vern Buchanan, a Republican, and Alcee Hastings, a Democrat. Alas, Florida's congressional leaders have nothing more pressing to resolve. The Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018, which outlaws the slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption, which is legal in 44 states. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's prolific. Do we really need this law?

Is This Legitimate? Or Just Judgmental?

Well, it depends on your views concerning Sphere of Influence. According to the Humane Society, 30 million dogs are killed for food each year, mostly in China and South Korea. However, in the United States, there is only ONE known case of someone eating dog meat. Back in 2008, two maintenance workers at a Hawaiian golf club were accused of stealing a German Shepherd mix of someone golfing there, and ate it. Even the Humane Society knows of no other cases, conceding there probably have only been four incidents in the past 30 years.

The bill's authors claim that, though they don't believe dog and cat meat is widely consumed here in the U.S., they want this bill to be a benchmark for other countries to adopt, sending a clear message to East Asian countries that Americans condemn their cultural practice. Note, however, that the U.S. law has carved out an exception for Native Americans "carrying out any activity described ... for the purpose of religious ceremony." This begs the question why should it be OK for Native Americans, but not for Native Asians.

Other Seemingly Unnecessary Laws

Evidently the federal government isn't the only one busy making laws that don't quite seem necessary. Other notables include:

  • Louisiana requires monks to be fully licensed as funeral directors, and their monasteries be fully licensed funeral homes, in order to sell their handmade caskets.
  • Massachusetts has a law that mandates day cares must require children to brush their teeth after lunch. The Kennedy's always did have very distinctive teeth. Hmm ...
  • Milwaukee requires business that are going out of business to purchase an expensive license and a ton of paperwork to do so. Too ironic for words.

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