Taiwan has introduced new animal welfare laws that could hand out fines for eating dog or cat meat as well as prison time for those who torture and kill animals.
Approved by the Legislative Yuan on Tuesday, Taiwan’s Animal Protection Act amendments prohibit the sale, purchase or consumption of dog or cat meat, and in doing so will make Taiwan the first Asian country to pass such legislation, according to the China Post.
For violation of any of the amendments, a person will be subject to fines ranging from NTD $50,000 ($1,632) to NTD $2 million ($65,275,220).
The Animal Protection Act was sponsored by Kuomintang Legislator Wang Yu-min, who said that measures banning dog and cat meat consumption were already implemented locally, but the legislation needed to be expanded nationally.
Those who intentionally harm animals could face a maximum two-year jail term and fines of NTD $200,000 ($6,528) to NTD $2 million ($65,275,220), while repeat offenders can be locked up for one to five years and fined between NTD $500,000 ($16,319) to NTD $5 million ($163,188,050).
The law will also make it illegal to “walk” pets tied to motor vehicles, with a fine that can go as high as NTD $15,000 ($490), according to AsiaOne.
Taiwan’s Cabinet and the Presidential Office have yet to sign off on the amendments, but it could take effect as early as the end of April.