Taiwan becomes first Asian country to ban dog and cat meat; offenders face 2-year jail, $65,500 fine

Namrata Tripathi
Taiwan becomes first Asian country to ban dog and cat meat; offenders face 2-year jail, $65,500 fine

The Taiwan Parliament on Wednesday passed a legislation to outlaw consumption, purchase or possession of dog or cat meat. Reports state that the offenders of the legislation will have to pay a fine of Tw$250,000 ($8,170).

The bill passed in the house also increased the penalty for killing or abusing animals, hiking the jail term to a minimum of two years and a strict fine of Tw$2 million. The amount of the fine is more than double for repeat offenders of the crime.

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"This shows that Taiwan is a society with advanced animal welfare," lawmaker Wang Yu-min, who proposed the amendment, said.

Consumption of dog meat is common in some of the Asian nations, including Taiwan. However, lawmakers had sought to tighten law for animal cruelty as a spade of publicised animal abuse cases in Taiwan had triggered deep public concern and outrage with civilians demanding tougher laws to protect animals.

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Last year, the Taiwanese military had faced flak and had to apologise after a video emerged of three soldiers torturing and strangling a stray dog to death with an iron chain. The incident drew intense public criticism and prompted several street protests.

The country's Navy commander Admiral Huang Shu-Kuang had called for an urgent press conference where he issued a statement of apology for the incident. He had also assured the media that all the three soldiers, who admitted guilt, will be duly punished according to the country's Animal Protection Act.


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