Taiwan to Outlaw Eating Dogs, Cats

Taiwan becomes first country in Asia to ban dogs and cats consumption

First in Asia: Taiwan bans eating of cats and dogs

Each year in June, the city of Yulin in southern China hosts a dog meat festival, where live dogs and cats are sold specifically for eating and an estimated 10,000 are slaughtered for their meat.

Those who chose not to respect the new law will face the consequences, including the most outrageous fine or two years behind bars.

The series of amendments raises a hosts of issues around animal welfare and reveals changing attitudes in Taiwan, where dogs are now widely seen as pets. Those convicted under the law can also be publicly shamed by the government publishing their names and photos.

The sale and consumption of dog and cat meat was also added to the law.

A new provision was also added to the law, banning the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat as well as any type of food products that contain the meat or parts of the animals.

The new legislation also bans people from using vehicles to pull pets along on leads, as the country continues to crack down on animal cruelty.

Repeated offenders will face a maximum of five years in jail and a fine of 5million ($163,000) Taiwan dollars, lawmakers said.

The amendments to the Animal Protection Act state that offenders can be punished with a monetary fine of NTD 50,000 to 250,000 (HK$13,000 to HK$63,000), Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.

Legislator Wang Yu-min said that the move in Taiwan is the first of its kind in Asia and "shows that Taiwan is a society with advanced animal welfare".

The amendments to the Animal Protection Act, enacted in 1998, come at a time of heightened awareness about animal cruelty in the country. She owns two cats and adopted three dogs.

Last year, a video showing a group of military personnel beating up a dog, strangling it and tossing the body into the ocean sparked public protests.

Dog meat remains popular in the region.

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