Taiwan becomes first Asian country to ban dog and cat meat

Eating or trading cats and dogs for their meat can now earn offenders fines between about $1,600 and $8,200 USD.


NSFW    TAIWAN — In many parts of Asia, dogs and cats can be traded for their meat, ending up as food on a plate. In an attempt to lead the continent in a more compassionate direction, Taiwan has announced the ban of all cat and dog meat, the first Asian nation to do so.

On April 11, Taiwan passed legislation that will ban the consumption of dog and cat meat, and level offenders with heavy fines for variations of all violations. For instance, penalties for animal slaughter and cruelty have now been raised to up to two years in prison that come with fines of up to nearly $66,000 USD. Eating cats and dogs can now earn offenders fines between about $1,600 and $8,200. The same fines are handed out for the selling of dog and cat meat. Not only do those who refuse to adhere to the law get slapped with fines, but their names and photos may be publicized.

Dog meat, in particular, is consumed in places like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines and northern India. Their plight is especially bad in South Korea, where Humane Society International reports roughly 2 million dogs are kept, and killed, for their flesh. China is responsible for roughly one third of the 30 million dogs slaughtered annually worldwide. Four million cats suffer the same fate every year in China as well.

Today, attitudes across Asia toward these animals are changing, with more people deciding to adopt these animals as pets and even treat them like kids, rather than have children of their own. Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand agreed to work together to stop the trafficking of dogs for meat back in 2013.

Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen is widely-known to be an animal lover, owning two cats and having adopted three retired guide dogs last year.
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