According to the Asia Canine Protection Alliance, the dog meat trade across Asia affects some 30 million dogs each year, many of whom are stolen or bred for the purposes of human consumption. As much an animal welfare issue as one of public health (the trade has hindered anti-rabies efforts), it’s huge news that Taiwan officially banned the practice of eating dogs (seen as a delicacy in parts of Asia) and cats.
Buying, selling, and even eating dog or cat meat will now carry fines, and potentially prison sentences, after amendments were made to the country’s animal protection laws, including anti-torture measures:
Landmark amendments to animal protection laws, which has been approved by the Legislative Yuan – the lawmaking branch of the Taiwanese government — will see those found guilty being named and shamed and facing fines of up to 250,000 Taiwan new dollars (£6,500).
Those charged with intentionally harming or torturing animals could meanwhile be jailed for up to two years and fined two million Taiwan new dollars (£52,000) while tougher sanctions will apply for repeat offenders.
The amendments still need to be approved by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen who is, according to Newsweek, an animal lover who owns three dogs and two cats.
The consumption of dog and cat meat has waned in Asia at the same time as animal rights activities have grown more pronounced. Last year, a graduate student in Taipei was sentenced to ten months in prison for killing cats and attacked by a crowd during the legal process.
(Via Business Insider)