Wed, Apr 12, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Legislators pass stricter penalties for animal abuse

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Animal abuse is to be subject to harsher punishments, with those purchasing or eating cat or dog meat to be fined, according to an amendment to the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法) passed by the legislature yesterday.

Lawmakers passed a bill that increases the punishments for cruelty against animals that leads to dysfunctions of their essential organs or serious injuries to limbs from one year in prison and a fine of between NT$100,000 and NT$1 million (US$3,263 to US$32,626), to two years behind bars and a fine of between NT$200,000 and NT$2 million.

Those involved in particularly severe cases and recidivists could be subjected to a sentence ranging from one year to five years and a fine of between NT$500,000 and NT$5 million.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏), who was one of those pushing for the amendment, said the changes were made after continuous cases of abuses of cats and dogs, which showed that the existing law had failed to act as a deterrent and the punishments for animal abuse needed to be more severe.

Those found purchasing, consuming or possessing dog or cat meat, or products containing dog or cat meat, can be fined up to NT$250,000 and their identity made public.

“Many of the nation’s cities and counties already have similar penalties in their local ordinances, and I believe that the prohibition should be nationwide,” said Wang, who had proposed the banning of eating cat and dog meat.

The amendment also prohibits taking pets for a walk on a leash by driving a car or riding a scooter.

Those found guilty of the offense would be subject to a fine of between NT$3,000 and NT$15,000.

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