Taiwan toughens anti-dog meat law
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2003:
TAIPEI–Taiwanese legislators on December 16, 2003 approved
stronger regulations against killing and selling dogs and cats for
The anti-dog-and-cat-meat measures were adopted among a package of
strengthening and clarifying amendments to the Animal Protection Law
of 1998, and were introduced with 56 co-sponsors from multiple
political parties, according to the China Post of Taiwan.
“Lacking real teeth, the old regulations only prohibited the
butchering and sale of pet meats,” without providing means of
enforcement, the China Post said.
The amendments ease the process of charging violators and
increase the applicable fines.
“The previous meager fines,” ranging from about $60 to about
$300 U.S., “failed to stop the traditional practice of eating dogs
and other prohibited meats in Taiwan, especially in winter,” the
China Post noted.
“Although they never put the dog meat dishes on their menus,
restaurants in Linkou, Taipei county, are notorious for secretly
offering dog meat,” the China Post said.
The fines will now start at about $1,500 U.S., rising to
$7,500 for repeated offenses.
The Animal Protection Law amendments also renew and expand
the duty of the Taiwanese federal Council of Agriculture to help fund
municipal animal control, including building animal shelters.
Council of Agriculture spokesperson Andrew Wang in November
told Taipei Times staff reporter Chiu Yu-Tzu that despite the
weaknesses, the Animal Protection Law of 1998 helped to close 54 dog
meat restaurants, and said that the Council of Agriculture had
already spent $8.7 million to build or improve animal shelters.
Wang said that the number of pet dogs in Taiwan had fallen
from 2.1 million in 1999 to 1.8 million and the number of street dogs
had dropped from 660,000 to 330,000 since the 1998 law came into
The reported decline in dog-keeping reflects the growing
acceptance of pet sterilization in Taiwan–and may also reflect a
decline in the numbers of people covertly breeding dogs for meat
under the guise of petkeeping.