Taiwan bans dog and cat meat from table as attitudes change

Consumption attracts large fine and repeat offenders could be named and shamed under law that is first of its kind in Asia

Cats are seen caged after being rescued by China Small Animal Protection Association from a Tianjin market that trade cats for meat and fur, in Beijing
People in Taiwan who repeatedly eat dog or cat meat face being named and shamed under the new law. Photograph: AP

Taiwan is set to become the first country in Asia to ban the consumption of dog and cat meat, as increasing pet ownership across the continent has seen attitudes shift.

The revised Animal Protection Act imposes a fine of up to 250,000 Taiwan dollars (£6,500) for eating dog or cat meat, while the penalties for animal cruelty or slaughter were raised to up to two years in prison and fines of up to 2m Taiwan dollars (£52,000).

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 car. The amendment still needs to be signed by the president, but could be law by the end of April.

Dog meat is not widely consumed in Asia, but it is featured in some regional cuisines, and cat meat is more rare. Dogs were once widely consumed in Taiwan, but are now almost universally seen as pets rather than food on the island.

Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, is a well-known cat lover, frequently posing with her two cats during her campaign. She also adopted three retired guide dogs last year.

The most notorious mass slaughter of dogs for food occurs once a year in China during the Yulin dog meat festival. About 10,000 dogs are killed every year and eaten throughout the southern city of Yulin, but the festival has increasingly attracted the ire of animal rights activists.

Taiwan previously banned the sale of dog and cat meat in 2001, and some local governments had prohibitions on consumption.

A student convicted of killing two stray cats last year was sentenced to 10 months in prison. The case sparked national outrage toward the man, who was from Macau, and animal rights activists protested and attacked him outside the court.

Hong Kong banned the slaughter and sale of dog and cat meat while under British colonial rule, but did not specifically outlaw consumption.

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This entry was posted in Nghệ thuật - Arts, Taiwan, Văn hóa - Culture and tagged , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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