On Tuesday, Taiwan's parliament made a "landmark amendment" to the country's Animal Protection Act by banning the slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption. Focus Taiwan states that while the consumption of dog meat was once "regularly consumed" on the island, today "people treat pet cats and dogs as valued members of their families."
The bill also prohibits people from pulling their pets on a leash alongside them while they ride cars or motorcycles, and according to CNN, "raises the penalty" for cruelty to animals:
"Individuals who eat or trade dog or cat meat can now be fined between $1,640 and $8,200. Taiwan has doubled the maximum prison term for animal cruelty to two years and raised the fine up to $65,000 for any act that deliberately harms animals and results in mangled limbs, organ failure or death. Violators may also see their names, photos and crimes publicized."
Founder and CEO of Animals Asia Foundation Jill Robinson stated that while the Animal Protection Act had previously covered the "slaughter and sale of dog and cat meat," the recent amendment that bans the "actual consumption of dog meat" is "welcome."
In 2016, Taiwan's first animal rights political party was launched and in November, the island passed legislation to end animal testing by 2019. Earlier this year, Taiwan also implemented its "zero euthanasia" policy.
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