İlknur Şebnem Öztemel-TDO- 15.04.2017 Taiwan has become the first country in Asia to outlaw dog and cat meat for human consumption as the legislature passed a new amendment to its animal protection laws.

It was legal to eat cat and dog meat in Taiwan like many other Asian states. Recently, Taiwanese Parliament amended its Animal Protection Act to ban the sale, purchase or human consumption of cat and dog meat. Also, the bill has toughened the penalty for animal abuse, increasing jail time from a one-year sentence to a two-year sentence. Moreover, fines have been doubled from US$33,000 to US$66,000, while repeat offenders could face a maximum five-year sentence or US$167,000 fine.

Once a time, a Japanese officer said as people need protein, they have to let them to eat   whatever contains protein. Stockbreeding is not common in these countries probably due to lack of land mass. Therefore, dog and cat meats were logical substitute source of meat. Nevertheless, unlike many other Asian states, Taiwanese people have specific tradition to eat dog meat as it is considered to be more delicious. Cat meat is less regularly eaten but sometimes it is consumed.

In recent years, the country has hit with several videos of animal abuse and increasing opposition led the change of formal decision about the issue. Furthermore, Asians started to adopt dogs and cats as pets and undoubtedly this had an influence in the change of public opinion and people’s actions towards the tradition. For instance, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen is known for her love of cats. She even posed with them while campaigning for the presidency in 2016.

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