Lawmakers in Taiwan have announced that the eating of dogs and cats has been banned. South Africa’s National Council of SPCAs adds our voice of approval to this internationally hailed advance for animal welfare.
This is a momentous and significant move. It is hoped that other countries in the Far East where the practice of eating dogs and cats remains will now follow Taiwan’s lead.
Change began when public outrage over the manner in which dogs and cats were kept, killed and eaten increased. International outrage and condemnation followed. A spate of horrendous cruelty cases led to calls for the general improvement of animal welfare in Taiwan.
The new legislation by the Taiwanese parliament outlaws consumption, purchase or possession of dog and cat meat. Offenders face a fine of up to 250,000 Taiwanese dollars.
The same Bill has increased the penalty for illegally or cruelly killing an animal, or abusing an animal, to a maximum two-year jail term and a fine of up to 2 million Taiwanese dollars.
Although it has been argued that the consumption of dog meat has already diminished in Taiwan, there have been recent confirmed reports of dog meat for sale.
NSPCA Policy Statement
The National Council of SPCAs believes that because of the unique historical status of the dog and cat as close companions and frequent working partners of humans, it is unacceptable to slaughter them for food. Whilst it is recognised that some cultures still maintain a tradition of owning cats and dogs as both pets and as food animals, our contention is that by increasing awareness of the value of companion animals, attitudes towards the eating of these species will change, and that over time they will no longer be slaughtered as food.
Featured image credit Debbie Li, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0