Victory! Taiwan Bans the Consumption of Dog and Cat Meat

There’s some really encouraging news for dogs, cats and people opposed to eating them: Taiwan made history April 11 by becoming the only country in Asia to ban the consumption of dog and cat meat.

This landmark amendment to the country’s Animal Protection Act imposes a fine between $1,640 and $8,200 for anyone who eats dog or cat meat. Previously, Taiwan’s APA only prohibited the slaughter and sale of the meat.

“The law was amended as Taiwan has moved away from a society in which dog meat was regularly consumed to one in which many people treat pet cats and dogs as valued members of their families,” the Central News Agence (CNA) reports.

The legislature also took the positive steps of doubling the maximum prison sentence for animal cruelty to two years and increasing the fine to a maximum of $65,500 for anyone who deliberately abuses an animal that results in mangled limbs, organ failure or death. The names and photos of the offenders may be publicized. It also outlawed “walking” pets on a leash pulled by someone in a vehicle or motorcycle.

It probably helps that Taiwan’s newly elected president, Tsai Ing-wen, is an animal lover. Last year she adopted three retired guide dogs and brought her two cats along with her on the campaign trail.

The dog and cat meat trade was banned in Taiwan in 1998. While consumption of this meat has remained legal in the country until now, it isn’t commonly eaten, Asia One reports. Nowadays it’s primarily consumed in rural areas and locations where living conditions are poor.

Animal welfare advocates are hoping that Taiwan’s new ban will inspire other countries to follow suit. Eating dog and cat meat is still legal in China, South Korea, Indonesia and even in 44 U.S. states.

In China, more than 10,000 dogs are brutally killed during the 10-day Yulin Dog Meat Festival that’s been held every August since 2009. Because of worldwide outrage nearly 2 million Care2 members have signed petitions opposing it and hundreds more have participated in protests — this festival promoting the dog meat trade is deservedly losing popularity.

More than half of the over 3,200 people polled for a 2015 Animals Asia Foundation survey said they thought the consumption of dog and cat meat should be outlawed in China.

“Activists in mainland China will say if Taiwan can do it, then mainland China has no reason not to, Adam Parascandola, director of Animal Protection and Crisis Response for Humane Society International, told National Geographic.

In Taiwan, the next challenge will be enforcing the new ban. The Council of Agriculture has only about 150 animal protector inspectors nationwide, Asia One reports, 81 of whom work part-time on other task forces. Hopefully President Ing-wen will see to it that there’s adequate funding and staff to enforce the country’s new and stronger animal protection laws.

China and other countries need to pass bans on dog and cat meat consumption as well. The Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which celebrates the cruelty of this trade, needs to be stopped. Please join more than 1.2 million Care2 members by signing and sharing this petition urging it to be ended.

Photo credit: YouTube


Telica R
Telica R17 days ago

Great, now lets hope other parts of Asia do the same.

joan silaco
joan silaco27 days ago

Now I wish China would do the same! No wonder why Taiwan wants to be on their own!

Jaime J
Jaime Jabout a month ago

Thank you

Jennifer H
Jennifer Habout a month ago

Good news. Many more places to go!

iveta NoFwdsPls c
iveta NoFwdsPls cerabout a month ago

Thank you for good news !!!!

Margie F
Margie FOURIEabout a month ago

How wonderful Taiwan.

Jess B
Jess Babout a month ago

Great job taiwan

Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vagaabout a month ago

That is about time. It should never been allowed

Cindy M. Dutka
Cindy M. Dutkaabout a month ago

GREAT NEWS!!!!! However there is still so much more work to be done (HELLO CHINA). This law must be enforced consistently and China must be the next nation to ban consumption of dog and cat meat. I would like to say CONGRATS!!!!! Taiwan for doing the right thing.

Sue H
Sue Habout a month ago

Good news, but it's going to take some time to actually get folks to adhere.