Taichung officials on Thursday managed to save three dogs, but one had already been cooked in a dog meat stew, allegedly by a group of migrant workers at the city’s water treatment plant.
Police yesterday said that two Vietnamese migrant workers would be charged with breaching the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法).
After amendments passed by the legislature last year, the Animal Protection Act explicitly prohibits the killing and eating of cats and dogs, with the punishments increased for those guilty of torturing, abusing or slaughtering protected animals.
The Taichung Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office said it received a call on Thursday night about a dog being killed and, together with police support, officials raided a dormitory in Fongyuan District (豐原).
In the dormitory’s kitchen they found the head of a dog inside a plastic bag and several pots of meat stew, which they surmised contained the slaughtered dog.
Seventeen Vietnamese migrant workers hired by a water treatment plant on contract work had been eating the stew, Taichung animal protection officer Chiang Su-fang (姜淑芳) said.
Three other dogs on leashes in the dormitory were rescued, as police assumed they were strays captured by the Vietnamese workers to be slaughtered for food.
News reports of the incident sparked anger from animal rights advocates and pet owners, who demanded severe punishments for the killing and eating of dogs or cats, whether by foreigners or
Taichung prosecutors and a team of forensic examiners conducted tests on the 17 migrant workers to find out which of them had done the killing.
Blood traces were found on a Vietnamese woman surnamed Nguyen, 36, who admitted to cooking the dog meat, but she identified a male worker surnamed Giap, 52, as the killer.
He had used a cleaver to cut the dog’s throat, then butchered the carcass, she said.
Based on the evidence found in the dormitory, prosecutors said they would charge Nguyen and Giap with killing the dog and then cooking it.
Under the Animal Protection Act, killing dogs or cats is punishable by up to two years in prison, with maximum fine of NT$2 million (US$64,504), while those eating dog or cat meat can be fined up to NT$250,000.
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