Legislation Update: Animals
With consumers becoming more conscious of the origins of food products, there have been many developments on the legislative front for animals. Businesses must take into account new regulations related to animal welfare, farming restrictions and bans on specific processes.
Below is a list of legislation related to animal production that was proposed on the Federal and State level in 2018-2019.
The Dog & Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act (H.R. 6720), introduced by Florida Representatives Vern Buchanan and Alcee Hastings, passed the House on Sept. 12, 2018. The bill was then incorporated under the H.R. 2 (115th): Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.
The bill prohibits the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption. It also amends the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.) to prohibit knowingly slaughtering dogs or cats for human consumption, as well as transporting, possessing, buying, selling, or donating of a dog or cat for such purposes and imposes penalties for violations. The provision does not limit any state or local law to protect animal welfare.
The Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act of 2019 (S.1008) was introduced to the Senate by Florida Senator Marco Rubio on April 3, 2019.
This bill is aimed at stopping the practice of shark finning and prohibit the import of shark products originating from any nation without a certification, as well as the possession of such products in the U.S. with limited exceptions for law enforcement, subsistence harvest, education, conservation or scientific research.
The Processing Revival & Intrastate Meat Exemption (PRIME) Act (H.R. 2859/S. 1620) was introduced by Representatives Thomas Massie and Chellie to Congress to the House on May 21, 2019.
The PRIME act would give individual states freedom to permit intrastate distribution of custom-slaughtered meat such as beef, pork or lamb to consumers, restaurants, hotels, boarding houses and grocery stores.
The Farm and Ranch to School Act (H.R. 3090) of 2019, introduced by Representative Dusty Johnson, was introduced to the House on June 4, 2019.
The bill would amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to include ranching educational activities in the Farm to School Program, specifically, “education activities in curriculum planning that encourage the participation of school children in ranching, livestock production, and meat processing educational activities.”
Florida State Legislation
Senate Bill 352, introduced by Senator Joe Gruters, and Companion House Bill 99, introduced by Representative Kristin Jacobs, both died in Committees on May 3, 2019.
These bills would have banned the possession and sale of shark fins and ray parts in Florida. “Finning,” removing a shark’s fins and dumping the injured fish back into the ocean, is banned in Florida waters. But it is legal to remove and sell shark fins once boats return to the dock. In addition, a large number of imported shark fins enter the U.S. through Florida ports.