A 21-year-old Taiwanese man was sentenced to 11 months in prison for killing three cats and injuring another last year, according to a ruling by the Chiayi District Court Friday.
The college student, only identified by his surname Yin (?), adopted a cat on Sept. 7, 2015, which was found dead two weeks later. On Sept. 29, he adopted another cat, which suffered severe injuries from several falls about two weeks later, the verdict said.
He again adopted a cat in October 2015, which died two weeks later, and on Nov. 8, he adopted a fourth cat, which died two days later, the court said.
The deaths and injuries of the cats triggered speculation by animal shelter staff and pet keepers -- who gave the cats to Yin -- that he deliberately killed them.
They later reported the cases to animal protection groups and filed a lawsuit against him.
Yin confessed that he had forcibly thrown the cats to the ground several times because he was in a bad mood, the court said.
His acts violated the Animal Protection Act, and he was given a sentence of 11 months in prison, which can be converted to a fine, the court said. The case can be appealed.
The court explained that the punishment was given after taking into consideration that fact that Yin had shown remorse over his acts, paying NT$6,000 to cover the expense of treating the injured cat and serving as a volunteer at animal shelter centers.
Article 6 of the act stipulates that people "must not harass, abuse or injure any animal."
Violators can face a jail term of under one year, in conjunction with a fine of between NT$100,000 (US$3,200) and NT$1,000,000, for actions leading to the injury, maiming, vital organ failure, or death of an animal, according to Article 25 of the act.
The ruling came on the same day that Taipei prosecutors decided to seek a heavier sentence against Chan Ho-yeung (???), a recently expelled National Taiwan University student, after it was found that the cat he allegedly killed last year was not the only one.
Chan, who is from Macau, has confessed to killing a cat last month, in violation of Taiwan's Animal Protection Act, prosecutors said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel