An important amendment to animal protection laws in Taiwan was approved by the legislative Yuan, a branch of government, on Tuesday, April 11. If this new legislation is approved by the Taiwanese government in the coming weeks, the sale, purchase and consumption of dog and cat meat, will be illegal, and punishable with a fine of 50,000 Taiwanese dollars ($1650).
This is an important first for the Asian continent, and an equally important victory for animal and dog activists everywhere. As Taiwan continues to distance itself from China, this new ban makes the island much more progressive in terms of animal protection, and separates the two even further.Whilst it is well known that animal cruelty cases go all too often ignored or unpunished in China, Taiwan has had heavy fines in place since 1998, and prison sentences for these crimes were introduced in 2007.
Additionally, animal cruelty towards cats and dogs has become increasingly punishable, with heavy fines of up to 2,000,000 Taiwanese dollars ($65,000). Offenders can even receive prison sentences of up to two years, or five, in the case of repeat offenders.This law is the first of its kind in Asia, and is particularly important in the fight to change mentalities towards animal welfare. Eating dog and cat meat has become more and more frowned upon, meaning that he vast majority of animals on the island are sold as pets.Nonetheless, this amendment is an important step forward for this small republic, as it continuesto separate itself fromits Chinese neighbors.
Source: Daily Mail
This new legislation comes after a recent ban against euthanasia of animals in shelter was introduced on February 4. The law was brought into place after a vet tragically took her own life in 2016 to educate others about the sad reality that shelter dogs face.Animal welfare continues to be a serious issue in many Asian countries. For example, more than 100,000 tonnes of dog meat are consumed in South Korea each year, and the annual Yulin festival in China costs the lives of more than 10,000 dogs.Therefore, whether this new ban is mainly symbolic or not, it is nonetheless a large step in the right direction to ultimately change opinions on the Asian continent towards the cruelty thatall too many animals endure.
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