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.

Dogs wait to be slaughtered in cages for sale as food in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Reuters.

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.

For more information, please see:

The China Post – Taiwan becomes first country in Asia to ban eating of cat and dog meat – 11 April, 2017

PRI – Taiwan bans eating dogs and cats but the meat trade is still big business in Asia – 12 April, 2017

Hong Kong Free Press – Taiwan bans the consumption of cat and dog meat – 11 April, 2017

BBC – Taiwan bans slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption – 11 April, 2017

Author: Nicole Hoerold