Taiwan bans sale and consumption of dog and cat meat

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People who sell or eat dog or cat meat now face a fine of up to 250,000 Taiwan dollars ($8,000).

Taiwan also cracked down on animal cruelty in its amended Animal Protection Act.

The President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, adopted three retired guide dogs past year to live alongside her two cats, Cookie and A-Tsai, according to BBC News. She also has two cats.

The controversial Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in Yulin in China runs for 10 days every year and sees thousands of dogs and cats slaughtered for festival-goers to sample their meat. The practice also exists in parts of Africa and remote areas of Switzerland.

Last year, a notorious dog meat festival in the south Chinese city of Yulin drew crowds despite global outrage, with more than 10,000 dogs killed at the event in conditions activists described as brutal. In an interview with Consumer Affairs, Born Free USA employee Roselyn Morrison said she "spent many hours investigating the sale of dogs in South Korea for human consumption".

According to the English-language China Daily newspaper, there were more than 100 million registered pets in China in 2015.

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Kuomintang Legislator Alicia Wang hailed the bill's passage as another step toward a more animal-friendly Taiwan.

Eating dog meat - which some islanders believe helps boost male potency - was common decades ago but has become less popular amid growing calls to protect animal rights.

Of these, 81 were government officials with other formal jobs who worked only part-time for the council on various task forces, including animal quarantine, pet shop inspections and public shelter administrative work. The animals have been flown to shelters in the United States.

Dog meat served in mainland China.

And the demand has led to an illegal trade from neighbouring countries, including Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Alcala signed a directive in January 2016 outlining a campaign to end dog-meat trade by 2020.

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