BEIJING (AP) – Taiwan’s legislature has explicitly banned the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat and increased the penalty for animal cruelty, underscoring growing awareness of animal welfare in one of Asia’s most prosperous societies.
The legislature amended Taiwan’s animal protection law to double the maximum penalty for deliberate harm to animals to two years in prison and a fine of 2 million Taiwan dollars ($65,000 or P3.2 million).
People who sell or eat dog or cat meat face a fine of up to 250,000 Taiwan dollars ($8,000 or P396,600) and their names and photos may be publicized. Drivers and motorcyclists who pull animals along on a leash also face a fine of up to 15,000 Taiwan dollars ($500 or P24,787), according to the amendments passed Tuesday.
While consumption of dogs and cats was never widespread in Taiwan, the amendments point to increasing concern for the treatment of animals on the island, where many residents lavish money and attention on their pets amid a plunging birthrate.