Taiwan bans dog and cat meat from table as attitudes change

First in Asia: Taiwan bans eating of cats and dogs

Eating dog meat - which some islanders believe helps boost male potency - was common decades ago but has become less popular amid growing calls to protect animal rights.

Anyone caught in breach of the law could face up to two years in prison, as well as large fines and publication of their identity.

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. The fine for eating cat or dog meat is £6,500 and people found guilty of the crime could also find themselves publicly named and shamed.

Taiwan's parliament has approved a bill banning the slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption.

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. Though parts of China still celebrate the consumption of dogs with festivals, pet ownership in China is "booming" according to Forbes.




Higgins said Taiwan's new law also sends "a strong signal" to China and South Korea where millions of dogs are brutally killed as part of the dog meat trade.

The amendments were made to Taiwan's existing animal protection law, which was the first of its kind in Asia.

It is understood that Wang proposed the amendments following the wave of shocking reports concerning animal abuse and deemed the prior penalties as insufficient as deterrents, Hong Kong Free Press reported. In addition to prohibiting residents from selling or using cats and dogs for food, the amendment bans residents from attaching leashed animals to motorized vehicles.

President Tsai Ing-wen had presented herself as an animal-lover during her election campaign.

Cat meat consumption is thought to be more rare.

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