NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
|We are very concerned that the State House of Representatives in Honolulu (May 2014) has shelved a Bill that would have made it a felony to kill or sell dogs and cats for food. The Bill was promoted by news reports last summer that a Waianae Coast man was allegedly selling dog meat.|
On March 15th 2014 many media outlets were quoting an article entitled "Hawaii Moves to Ban Humans from Eating Cats and Dogs" (the article can be read through this link).
"Senate Bill 2026, which established the offense of cruelty to animals by slaughtering or trafficking dogs or cats for human consumption and included dogs or cats bred for human consumption, passed easily with amendments, from February to April of this year, through the Senate and House Committees, and then died with the Speaker of the House Joe Souki, from Maui, who failed to schedule conferees (or conferences) for a final committee hearing. It was learned that Rep. Souki and his Committee wanted more discussion about the cultural reasons behind dog and cat meat consumption. Senator Hee requested a conferee." Quote from In Defense of Animals, a different article.
President Renita Chang from the Hawaii Dog Foundation is quoted as stating that she believes the practice of killing dogs and cats in Hawaii for food is more common than people think, and we have to agree with her.
There are laws in place with regard to Service Dogs in Hawaii, but none against the human consumption of them. Dogs are used in the Hawaiian Police Force - K9 Dogs and Search and Rescue in Kauai, yet they have little protection.
Scientists also say the unregulated nature of dog and cat meat consumption (unlike farm animals who are mostly bred and raised to be eaten) poses public health risks. Diseases including toxoplasmosis, e-coli and infectious parasites can be transferred to humans while slaughtering dogs or cats.
Sirius presented a well documented Submission to the World Health Organisation and Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in a joint meeting (the Submission can be viewed here on this website). The health issues listed above are only a small percentage of the actual dangers from consuming dog meat. There is absolutely no excuse for this situation to have occurred in Hawaii and it must be stopped and laws put in place to ban the human consumption of dogs and cats!
The original native dog of Hawaii was called the "Poi Dog", a breed which declined to extinction as the native religion was abandoned and eating dog meat became unfashionable. So what has changed to rekindle the interest in eating our pets? The demography of Hawaii may hold the answer. Interestingly, according to the Hawaii Travel Guide, today only 10% of the population are Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders, whereas 38.6% are described as Asian.