In Taiwan, it’s now illegal to consume dog and cat meat. The Taiwanese government, via a new amendment to its Animal Protection Act, will implement hefty fines and jail time for those who will be caught doing the gruesome crime.
The new ordinance will enforce a fine of $8,200 for those who are caught eating dog or cat meat. Meanwhile, a bigger fine of $65,000 and two years in prison will be given for deliberately harming cats and dogs, National Geographic reports.
Repeat offenders will be fined to up to $165,000 and will serve five years in jail. Focus Taiwan notes that the new amendment will also ban walking animals using motor vehicles such as having pet dogs on a leash while letting them run alongside their owners’ scooters.
The Animal Protection Act was sponsored by Kuomintang Legislator Wang Yu-Min. Taiwan is the first country in Asia to pass a legislation regarding eating cat and dog meat. The new amendment would take effect at the end of this month after Taiwan’s Cabinet and Presidential Office sign it.
Despite Taiwan’s bold move to end a practice that’s deeply embeded in tradition, other neighboring countries, such as China and South Korea, still continue to consume dog and cat meat.
The Yulin dog-eating festival in China has garnered public outrage as thousands of dogs are killed every year during the cultural practice, The Washington Post reports. The Humane Society International says that in China alone, it’s estimated that 10 million dogs are slaughtered every year.
Meanwhile, in South Korea, dog farms are legal. There’s about 17,000 dog farms in the country which are solely focused in producing dog meats for human consumption. In these facilities receive inhumane treatment are usually killed via electrocution.
Adam Parascandola, Director of Animal Protection and Crisis Response for Humane Society International, says that Taiwan’s new amendment is evidence that we can end a “cruel and outdated eating habit.” He believes that the decision might force China and South Korea to the same in the future.
“Activists in mainland China will say if Taiwan can do it, then mainland China has no reason not to,” Parascandola told National Geographic.
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