United States (U.S.) President, Donald Trump has signed into law the "Dog and Cat Meat Prohibition Act" as a provision of the Farm Bill.
This means it is now a federal offence to slaughter, trade and import/export dogs and cats for human consumption in the U.S.
Previously, the practice was legal in 44 states, including Hawaii, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and New York.
According a report by Businesswire, the bill was spearheaded and sponsored by the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation (AHWF), a nonprofit that rescues dogs and cats from the dog and cat meat trade abroad.
It is believed that many of these dogs and cats were taken from shelters, some found as strays, others were stolen pets from families.
The Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act was first introduced in March 2017 by Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL).
“This is a major victory for the animals, prohibiting the consumption of two entire species, while at the same time making America the leader in putting an end to this brutal practice worldwide,” said Marc Ching of the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation.
“When we started this all we ever wanted to do was make a difference, to move towards bringing an end to the suffering of these animals who are like our children, our family,” he added.