- On April 27, 2017
Taiwan banned the sale and consumption of both dog and cat meat on April 11, 2017. Despite this significant action, the practice of dog meat consumption in particular is still common in other parts of Asia with China, Vietnam, and South Korea the worst offenders.
This legislative action is an amendment to the Taiwanese Animal Protection Act and imposes steeper fines and longer sentences for acts of animal cruelty, which includes selling or consuming cat and dog meat or any other products containing parts from these animals.
Taiwan’s president, Tsia Ing-wen, shares her home with three retired guide dogs she adopted in addition to two cats.
However, the unfortunate and disturbing fact remains that the consumption of dog meat is still popular in many other Asian countries apart from Taiwan. These countries include South Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, northern India, and China. An entire annual festival (Yulin) in China is based around killing and eating dogs — thousands of dogs!
And if the inhumane conditions in which the dogs are kept — often without adequate food and water — aren’t bad enough, there is their brutal slaughter to consider. Dogs are typically slaughtered by being beaten to death, all of which happens in front of other animals whose turn will come all too soon.
The HSUS continues to campaign vigorously to put an end to these terrible practices. Humane Society International (HSI) reports that China is believed to kill more than 10 million of the nearly 30 million dogs slaughtered each year on a global basis. Dogs slaughtered in China come from a variety of dubious sources, and dog theft has helped to sustain the dog meat industry there.
Things are even worse in South Korea where dogs are actually farmed for human consumption. South Korea is the only nation to do so. Approximately 2 million dogs are housed in about 17,000 facilities there, with many slaughtered via electrocution. The response by the South Korean government to calls to ban the practice has been half-hearted.
On a more positive note, there is a growing movement toward pet keeping among the Chinese middle class in urban areas of China. Historically, pet ownership has been stigmatized as a hallmark of the bourgeoisie, at least dating back to Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution. This humane trend is reshaping how certain segments of the Chinese population view the Chinese dog meat trade. Unfortunately, with a population over 1.3 billion people, it will require changing the cultural perceptions of many more people before the tipping point towards an outright ban of the dog meat industry in China and abolition of the Yulin dog meat festival is achieved.
The HSI has worked with Chinese activists, organizations, and government agencies to rescue dogs and cats, build capacities, and implement modern animal management practices. In the last decade, HSI has helped to rescue and house tens of thousands of dogs bound for slaughter, accommodate thousands of dogs, and move a large number of them to loving homes in China and abroad. In December 2016, HSI flew 111 rescued Chinese dogs to Canada. HSI has also performed several rescues over the past two years in South Korea, saving more the 800 dogs confined on dog meat farms. Rescued dogs were flown out of the country and then sent to shelters in the United States with the goal of eventual adoption.
Read more about the Taiwan dog meat industry ban on OregonLive.com.