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Taiwan bans the slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption

FILE - In this June 23, 2013 file photo a dog waits to be sold for meat in a market in Yulin, in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Taiwan has banned the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption.
FILE - In this June 23, 2013 file photo a dog waits to be sold for meat in a market in Yulin, in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Taiwan has banned the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption. (AP Photo/Humane Society International, File)

Taiwan has become the first Asian country to prohibit the slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption.

An amendment to the country’s Animal Protection Act that was approved this week also increases penalties for cruelty toward animals.

READ MORE: 110 pooches rescued from dog meat festival arrive in Canada

The maximum prison time for deliberate harm to animals has been doubled to two years from one, and the maximum fine has been increased to $2 million Taiwan New Dollars, which is about $87,500 Canadian.

The prison term and fine can apply to deliberate harm causing mangled limbs, organ failure or death, Focus Taiwan News Channel reports.

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The new rules also ban the sale and consumption of cat and dog meat in any form. Anyone caught in violation could be fined, and have their name and image publicized.

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Taiwan first passed a law in 2001 banning the use of fur and meat from pets — such as dogs and cats — for “economic purposes,” the BBC reports.

The tightening of animal protection laws in the country have been in response to a cultural shift that has seen the animals become more commonly kept in the home as pets rather than seen as food, Focus Taiwan said.

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