Taiwan’s parliament has recently passed a bill banning human consumption of cats and dogs, now a punishable offence, anyone caught eating or slaughtering any cat or dog for their meat could face either a hefty fine or up to five years in prison.
Though dog and cat meat is not the most popular meat in Asia, it is considered a delicacy in some regions. Once widely consumed in Taiwan, they are now seen as pets rather than food.
Taiwan is a trail blazer, becoming the first country to ban the consumption of dog and cat. However many countries still consume dog and cat meat regularly.
China remains the biggest dog eating country in the world, with its most notorious mass killing: The Yulin Dog Meat Festival happening every year an estimated 10,000 dogs and cats killed and eaten during the ten-day festival.
The festival traditionally brings locals together to sample dog-meat hotpot, lychees and local liquor. A 500-year-old festival, it is commonly believed the festival wards off extreme summer heat. The selling of dog meat for consumption is still legal in China with approximately 10 million dogs killed every year. Though many maintain that the animals are slaughtered in humane ways, critics claim that the animals are beaten, killed publicly and even boiled alive.
There have been many efforts to stop the selling of dog and cat meat in China but the consumption of these animals is deeply rooted in tradition.
Nevertheless, Taiwan’s new laws are paving the way for countries such as China.