Taiwan bans sale and consumption of dog and cat meat

Posted April 13, 2017

In Hong Kong, the slaughter of dogs and cats for consumption is illegal under the 1950 Dogs and Cats Regulations. Previously, the maximum punishment was one year in prison and up to 1 million new Taiwan dollars (about $32,700) in fines.

There was a time when dogs were commonly eaten in Taiwan but as attitudes of people have changed, the animal is now more widely seen as a pet than a cuisine.

Authorities can also name and shame those who break the law.

Taiwan has become the first Asian country to completely ban the eating of dog and cat meat.

Kuomintang legislator Wang Yu-min highlighted that the new law is the first of its kind in Asia, where the practice of eating cat and dog meat has come under enormous fire in recent years.

The Taiwan Parliament on Wednesday passed a legislation to outlaw consumption, purchase or possession of dog or cat meat.

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The new law also takes into consideration pet's safety rights, making it illegal for a pet to be walked while its guardian is riding a scooter or driving a vehicle.

But an estimated 30 million dogs across Asia, including stolen family pets, are still killed for human consumption every year, according to the Humane Society International.

On Tuesday, government officials voted to add the amendment to the existing Animal Protection Act. Repeat offenders can face jail term of up to five years and stiffer fines. A year ago she adopted three dogs, on an island where society increasingly views cats and dogs as pets. Last year, Ms Tsai also adopted three dogs.

For many of us, cats and dogs are the staple of domesticated pets.

Capital city Taipei has also banned the sale of dog meat, but an investigation by a Taiwanese newspaper in 2011 published allegations that slaughterhouses and dog meat restaurants were escaping prosecution by the authorities.