By: Nicole Hoerold
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia
TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan has joined Hong Kong as one of the first Asian country to outlaw the sale of dog and cat meat for human consumption. Parliament passed legislation on April 11 to outlaw the consumption, purchase, and possession of dog and cat meat. The fine for violating the law can get as steep at 8,170 U.S. dollars.
The legislation is a direct response to the growing social pressure calling for improvements in animal welfare and increased protections against animal cruelty. The new legislation includes a provision raising the penalty for killing or abusing animals to a maximum of two years in jail and a fine of NT$2 million in Taiwanese currency.
Similar legislation had already been passed in Taiwan in 2001, which like the new legislation, prohibited the slaughter of pets and the sale of that meat. The 2001 legislation, however, failed to include a penalty for violations of the law. The new law includes strict provisions on the care and treatment of animals, as well as minimum and maximum fines and jail sentences for those found guilty of violating the law.
Rights activists are thrilled at the new measure, calling the new legislation a momentous step in the right direction for ensuring stronger animal protections. In the past, these activists argue, legislation has been too lenient on individuals accused of animal cruelty. The new law aligns to a greater global social movement for increased animal rights and protections. However, some activists warn that this measure is not enough to ensure the safety and well-being of other animals, as the legislation applies strictly to cats and dogs.
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