In a raid on an illegal slaughterhouse in Taiwan’s western Yunlin County, animal disease control officers made a grisly discovery: the recently killed corpses of twelve dogs along with 435 dried dog penises. The latter were found in a refrigerator along with “the other body parts,” said the Taiwan Times.
Two live dogs were rescued. Officials found a number of collars — suggesting that some of the slain dogs could have been pets.
Under Taiwan’s 1998 Animal Protection Act, killing dogs is banned. The suspect could face a penalty of up to one year in prison and a fine equivalent to $34,500 if he is found to be a repeat violator of the law.
A spokeswoman for Taiwan’s Animal Disease Control Center said that the reason for the slaughterhouse’s owner keeping all the animal body parts was “not immediately clear.” Local media have been reporting that they can be used as an “ingredient in herbal wine in the belief they could help boost male potency.”
The owner has previously killed animals and is suspected of having sold dog meat as food. Dog meat is referred to as “fragrant meat” in Taiwan; its sale has been banned in Taiwan since 2001 and, in 2007, the government also raised fines on sellers of dog meat. Eating either dogs or cats is now punishable with a fine of up to about $17,253.00.
But animal welfare advocates have contended that, despite these laws, the government is still not prosecuting those who serve and eat dog meat at restaurants.
That the raid was carried out by the animal disease control officers suggests that the Taiwanese government is increasing efforts to protect animals. Nonetheless, the fact that the slaughterhouse’s owner had previous citations and was still operating a facility, and that he had killed so many dogs, shows that there needs to be far more effort on behalf of animal welfare in Taiwan, if not more stringent regulations and consequences for those who abuse and slaughter animals.
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