Taiwan is to become the first Asian country to ban eating dog and cat meat.

The country’s parliament has approved amendments to the Animal Protection Act that impose fines on anyone convicted of consuming dog or cat meat.

Anyone torturing or killing the animals will face jail once the legislation is signed into law later this month.

The fines for selling, buying or eating meat from the protected animals range from 50,000 TWD (1,314 GBP) to 2 million TWD (52,582 GBP).

The measure was backed by MP Wang Yu-min, who noted that while some areas of Taiwan already had similar legislation, a national law was essential.

Her amendments give judges harsher penalties to hand out to people convicted of deliberately hurting animals: two years in jail and fines ranging from 200,000 TWD (5,258 GBP) to 2 million TWD (52,582 GBP).

Serial offenders face up to five years in jail and a fine of up to 500,000 TWD (13,145 GBP).

Other effects of the amendments to the Animal Protection Act include an end to the practice of exercising pets from a motor vehicle.

Some Taiwanese people walk their dogs by riding alongside them on a moped, holding the lead, a method that is to be outlawed.

Though it is not clear how widespread the practice is, anyone caught walking their pet in this manner will face a fine of up to 15,000 TWD (394 GBP).

All that remains for the legislation to take effect is a rubber stamp from the Presidential Office and Cabinet, expected to take place before May this year.

The legislation comes after widely reported cases of animal abuse outraged the Taiwanese public.

Taiwan’s neighbour China has banned the sale of dog meat for consumption but does not criminalise eating it.


Author: Scott Feng

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