Taiwan bans sale, consumption of dog and cat meat

A groundbreaking law passed by the Legislative Yuan Tuesday officially bars eating dogs and cats, extending legislation passed in 2001 that outlaws the sale of dog and cat meat in the country.

Under the amended Animal Protection Act, the same penalty will apply in cases where dogs, cats or other protected animals are killed.

Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to five years and face stiffer fines, and those convicted under the new law may also be publicly shamed, with their names and photos published by the government.

The law also makes it illegal to "walk" a pet while riding a scooter or driving a vehicle.

Kuomintang Legislator Alicia Wang hailed the bill's passage as another step toward a more animal-friendly Taiwan.

The bill also bans the "walking" of dogs by attaching their leash to their owner's scooter or auto and forcing them to run alongside.

The President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, adopted three retired guide dogs a year ago to live alongside her two cats, Cookie and A-Tsai, according to BBC News.

Before taking effect, the amendments stills need to be signed into law by the Cabinet and Presidential Office.

The amendment also states the prohibition of the practice of selling, purchasing, consuming, possession, trading of dog or cat meat in the nation.

Last year, the military was forced to apologise after a video surfaced of three soldiers torturing and strangling a stray dog to death with an iron chain, prompting several street protests. During the festival, dogs are displayed in cages, slaughtered on the street and eaten in "dog hot pots".

  • Leroy Wright