Taiwan, the island east of China has made an unprecedented move by banning the sale of and consumption of dog and cat meat, making it the first country in Asia to do so.
The law comes in as an amendment in to the nation’s animal protection laws, making eating dogs and cats illegal by the The Legislative Yuan.
The Central News Agency reported that imprisonment of up to two years and fines of between $6 524 and 65 434 could be handed down to those found bringing deliberate harm or death to pets.
The practice of eating dogs and cats has been recorded in other parts of the world, including the Americas, Europe, East and Southeast Asia, Oceania and West Africa.
In Chinese tradition, dog eating has taken place at annual events such as the Yulin Dog Meat Festival – also known as the Lychee and Dog Meat Festival, during the summer solstice. The Independent UK has however reported that critics argue the cultural value of the event, but it being a means to generate money rather.
In some provinces in Southeastern China, cat meat is considered by some as food that keeps the body warm during winter, while in Korea, the meat was historically used as a remedy for neuralgia and arthritis.