EATING dogs and cats has been banned in Taiwan.
It is the first Asian country to do so.
New legislation, passed last week, prevents eating, buying or possessing dog or cat meat. Those who break the law face a fine of about £6,500. Selling the meat in restaurants has also been outlawed, and animal cruelty offences will also now face heavier penalties.
Although Hong Kong and China have banned the killing of dogs and cats to be used as meat there is no law penalising it.
The Bill, described as a landmark law showing that Taiwan ‘is a society with advanced animal welfare’, will mean that anyone caught killing or mistreating animals now faces a maximum of two years in jail and a fine of nearly £52,000. Those who reoffend could be jailed for five years and be fined £130,000.
In addition, the Taiwanese can no longer exercise their dogs by tying them to cars and forcing them to run alongside it.
Taiwan has a poor animal welfare record. One of several recent cruelty cases involved three soldiers beating and strangling to death a dog; a film of it appeared on YouTube, prompting protests.
Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen owns three rescue dogs and a cat. Her country now has some of the most robust animal protection legislation in Asia.