Pet lovers and animal cruelty advocates around the world are rejoicing over this landmark legislation.
Earlier today, the Legislative Yuan of Taiwan passed a series of amendments to the island's Animal Protection Act. According to the China Post, these amendments include punishments for the sale, purchase, or consumption of dog or cat meat. Fines given to those caught can be as high as two million New Taiwan dollars, or over $65,000 US dollars (USD). Violators of the law will also be prohibited from registering pets or applying to adopt a pet.
Other amendments passed include increased punishments for intentional animal cruelty, with up to two years of imprisonment and two million New Taiwan dollars in fines for first time offenders and up to five years of jail time and five million New Taiwan dollars (around $163,000 USD) for repeat lawbreakers.
The amendments just have to be signed by the Cabinet and President of Taiwan before going into effect, which could happen as early as the end of this month.
Kuomintang legislator Wang Yu-min, the sponsor of the new laws, said the amendments came in response to some horrific acts of animal cruelty that occurred in Taiwan within the past year. These acts generated a growing need for legislation banning dog and cat meat consumption. Some local areas had such bans, but Taiwan had no overarching law preventing this consumption from taking place.
Across Asia, dog and cat consumption has drawn some harsh criticisms, with the Yulin meat festival in China being one of the most grotesque examples. To date, no national laws that outright ban such atrocities exist in Asia.
Hopefully, these amendments are just the beginning of a continent-wide wave of legislation that keeps such horrific acts of killing and eating cats and dogs from continuing.