Washington--The global animal protection organization Humane Society International (HSI) on Wednesday applauded Taiwan for introducing a categorical ban on the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption.
A day earlier, the Legislative Yuan passed an amendment to the Animal Protection Act that prohibits the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat, as well as any type of food products that contain the meat or parts of such animals.
Violation of the law is punishable by a fine of NT$50,000 (US$1,646) to NT$250,000, and the names and photos of the offenders may be published, according to the amendment.
In a statement, HSI described the move as "a monumental step in ending Taiwan's dog meat trade."
In fact, however, Taiwan's 1998 Animal Protection Act outlawed the killing or hurting of dogs, and there is little or no commercial trade in dog meat.
"This legislation is going to send a message to China, Nagaland State in India, Indonesia and other Asian countries where dog meat consumption is still legal, that ending the brutal dog meat trade is a positive trend across Asia and a step in the public's long-term interest," said Kelly O'Meara, director of companion animals and engagement for HSI.
By comparison with Taiwan, the organization noted that in South Korea, thousands of dog farms around the country rear an estimated 2.5 million dogs per year for human consumption, and has managed to save just 825 dogs in the past two years.
HSI is one of the leading organizations campaigning across Asia to end the dog meat trade that sees around 30 million dogs a year killed for human consumption.
The organization did not provide figures on the number of dogs killed in Taiwan each year for human consumption.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel