Under the revised Animal Protection Act, consumption of dog or cat will land offenders large fines, and repeat offenders could be named and shamed under the new law. A violation is punishable by a fine of over $1,000. Repeat offenders could be jailed for up to five years and have their name and photograph published by the government.
The decision to ban the consumption of dog and cat meat in Taiwan was welcomed by Kelly O’Meara, director of companion animals and engagement for US-based Humane Society International (HSI).
“Taiwan’s legislature has taken a monumental step in ending the dog meat trade,” she said in a statement.
“This legislation is going to send a message to the Chinese mainland, Nagaland state in India, Indonesia and other Asian countries where dog meat consumption is still legal that ending the brutal dog meat trade is the positive trend across Asia and a step in the public’s long-term interest.
“Most people in Asian countries do not eat dog and cat, and most find the cruel and often crime-fuelled trade appalling. The animal protection movement is growing rapidly across Asia and the calls for an end to dog meat cruelty are getting louder and louder.”
Like many Asian nations, consumption of dog meat in Taiwan was popular several decades ago, but has gradually become rarer. In 2001, the Taiwanese government brought forward laws to ban the sale of dog meat.
Taiwan will become the second country in Asia to ban the sale and consumption of both dog and cat meat. Hong Kong banned dog consumption in 1950. Thailand and the Philippines also have dog meat bans in place.