NSPCA supports Taiwan’s ban on eating cats and dogs


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

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The NSPCA was founded in 1955 as the Federation of SPCAs to provide a forum to bring uniformity to welfare legislation and standards. The SPCAs in South Africa are governed by the SPCA Act 169 of 1993 which is administered by the NSPCA, constituting us as a statutory body. Inspectors are authorised in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 and the Performing Animals Protection Act No. 24 of 1935 with the SPCA movement collectively undertaking over 90% of all animal welfare investigations and prosecutions in South Africa. The NSPCA operates on a national basis with a team of dedicated Inspectors, who are specialists in their fields. We work tirelessly to protect animals from neglect and abuse and enforce the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 when deliberate cruelty takes place. The lives of tens of thousands of animals are improved because of our passion, our intervention, and our commitment to bring about long-term positive change for farmed animals, wildlife, research animals, domestics and animals used in entertainment and sport. In a country that spans over a million square kilometres, there are areas where there is no SPCA, no animal welfare organisations and no veterinary services. The NSPCA plays a vital role in bringing extraordinary support to these people and their animals. Click to see author's profile.

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