It’s official and it’s wonderful news for animal lovers all around the world – Taiwan has just become the first Asian country to completely ban dog and cat meat. The new legislation has it that those found guilty of eating canine or feline meat can be given a fine of up to NT$50,000 ($1,600) and NT$250,000 ($8,000). The ban also covers the selling, possession or purchasing of kitty and doggie carcasses.
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This positive change can be mostly attributed to changing attitudes in Taiwan towards dogs and cats – as pet ownership in the country is increasing, it causes the shift from seeing those animals as meat to seeing them as companions – and possibly even best friends you wouldn’t eat for lunch.
President Tsai Ing-wen might have something to do with it as well. During her election campaign, she positioned herself as an animal lover who owns two cats and had adopted three dogs.
Still, even though this ban is a huge victory, the fight to abolish cat and dog meat continues. For instance, in China, every year 10,000 doggies are killed in the Yulin dog meat festival. Let’s hope that other Asian countries will take Taiwan as an example and follow their lead.