The Taiwanese Government had declared that the cooking, buying, selling and consumption of dog and cat meat is now illegal under its new animal protection laws that could see offenders fined from 50,000 to two million new Taiwanese dollars ($1,636 - $65,434). Taiwan is the first Asian country known to consume both types of meat to introduce a legislation against it.
According to China Post Taiwan, Taiwan's Animal Protection Act amendments approved by the Legislative Yuan on Tuesday would punish buying, selling or consumption of dog or cat meat. Aside from introducing fines for consuming the illegal meats, the Act has a sub-clause that could see people who intentionally harm animals in Taiwan for two years of imprisonment and fines of 500,000 to 5 million new Taiwanese dollars ($16358 - $163,586).
CNN cites Humane Society International representative Wendy Higgins praising Taiwan's "progressive ban." She said it "is part of a growing trend across Asia to end the brutal dog meat trade." The amendment to the Animal Protection Act would also punish animal cruelty against pet owners who "walk" their pets while leashes are pulled by cars and motorcycles with fines up to 15,000 new Taiwanese dollars ($491).
Dog and cat meat consumption is a huge industry in Taiwan with most restaurants serving specialized dishes for the special meats. However, the amendments to the new laws became needed when animal rights advocates in Taiwan raised a series of animal abuse cases pertaining to military personnel beating up a defenseless dog and throwing its body into the ocean and the inhumane manner dogs and cats are imprisoned, fed and treated before they are killed for their meat.
Animals Asia Foundation CEO Jill Robinson said the new amendments to Taiwan's Animal Protection Act send a signal to China and South Korea to ban the killing and consumption of dog and cat meat. China's southern region is known for celebrating the Yulin festival, a dog meat consumption festival that sees the killing and eating of 10,000 dogs, which was widely condemned in social media worldwide.