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Taiwan Becomes First Country to Ban Eating of Dogs and Cats

April 12, 2017 Updated: July 29, 2022
White,Fence,Dog breed,Dog,Goat,Mesh,Companion dog

Taiwan has become the first Asian nation to ban the consumption of dog and cat meat. This lifesaving new policy was passed as a landmark amendment to the nation’s existing animal protection laws and reveals changing social norms on the island nation. Recent high-profile cases of shocking animal cruelty have roiled the country and left citizens outraged. Just last year Taiwan’s Minister of Defense had to publicly apologize after military personnel were caught on video beating and strangling a dog, and then tossing the body into the ocean. Now, people who sell, buy, or eat meat from slaughtered dogs and cats will face hefty fines, prison sentences, and even public shaming. In fact, Taiwan has doubled the maximum prison sentence to two years and increased fines up to $65,000 for any act that intentionally harms, injures, or kills dogs and cats. The new amendment also prohibits ‘walking’ animals alongside dangerous cars and motorcycles. Animal Equality’s investigators witnessed firsthand the cruelty of the dog meat trade. In our investigation we witnessed:

  • Dogs who were often taken from the street or stolen from families.
  • Dogs kept almost their entire lives confined in wire cages.
  • Intense physical and psychological suffering.
  • Starving animals kept in extreme temperatures.

Their deaths are horrific: various blows to the head leave the animals in a semi-conscious state before being stabbed to death. The dogs are bled out and die after agonizing minutes while struggling in a desperate bid to stay alive. Animal Equality applauds Taiwan’s groundbreaking action which marks significant progress in the fight against killing dogs and cats for food. Just as Taiwan has sent a strong message to other countries in the region that it is unacceptable to kill dogs and cats for food, you can too. Please sign our petition asking Chinese officials to ban the trade of dogs and institute the nation’s first ever animal protection law.


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