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While India still confers a measly 10 Rupee fine on animal abusers; Taiwan has introduced stricter punishments for culprits committing crimes against animals involving fines as high as NT$2 million (42, 73,498 INR) as well as a 2 year jail term. For repeat criminals the fine has been pegged at NT$5 million. These reforms have much to do with the new legislative bill focused on banning sale & consumption of dog & cat meat in Taiwan.
Tsai Ing-wen the Taiwanese President entered office in May 2016 and promised to focus on the welfare and protection of animals. An ardent lover of animals, the president last year adopted three retired guide dogs. She had also previously adopted two cats named Xiang Xiang and Ah Tsai. image credit – www.care2.com
Animal torture in Taiwan perhaps reached a gruesome height with a lot of armed forces too seen perpetrating cruelty upon animals. The infamous video of Taiwanese marines hanging a stray pup by its neck on a seawall and chucking its motionless corpse into the ocean was rapidly circulated online through the last one year. This outrageous episode spiralled into public protests, widespread anger and an investigation into the matter followed by an apology from the defence minister.
Sadly, Consuming dog and cat meat is still legal in China, Indonesia, South Korea and most surprisingly in 44 states of the U.S. In China the ten day long Yulin Dog Meat Festival held annually is nothing but a representation of untoward cruelty on animals where thousands of dogs are killed to encourage the meat trade.
The new Animal Protection Act that has been passed by the Legislative Yuan bans the sale, purchase and consumption of dog and cat meat. Anyone found guilty of these offences will be fined between NT$50,000 to NT$2 million (66,574 US Dollar).This makes Taiwan the first Asian country to formulate laws that will cover the entire nation and a state sponsored ban on selling, purchasing and eating of dead canines and cats.
Legislator Wang Yu-min of Kuomintang (political party) is the leading sponsor of said bill. The act also prohibits attaching the dog via leash to cars/scooters of their owners and forcing them to run along.
Taiwan has also seen an unfortunate rise in the number of pets being dumped in shelter homes in recent years, although, there are others who treat their pet dogs and cats as important members of their family.
In February this year a law banning animal euthanasia was put into effect. The law saw the light of day a year after the suicide of a 32 year old vet named Chien Chih-cheng, who killed herself out of angst at having to put to sleep hundreds of innocent stray dogs.
The sale and purchase of dog and cat meat was banned in 1998, its consumption remained legal in Taiwan till recently with it being drastically low and mostly restricted to rural and destitute areas. The shift in the attitudes of people in the country perhaps was the game-changer propelling the new amendment bill on welfare of animals.
original facts published by Telegraph UK