Amended Animal Protection Act Set to Promote Animal Protection and Welfare


  The Legislative Yuan passed the amendment to the Animal Protection Act after its third reading on April 11, raising the sentence for animal abuse while incorporating penalties for consuming dog and cat meat as well as leashing pets to moving motorized vehicles. The objective is to manifest respect towards animals and the value of life with hopes of effectively stopping animal abuse. The Council of Agriculture (COA) wishes to extend its gratitude to the legislators for their support, which facilitated the smooth passage of the amendment. The COA vows to work closely with county / municipal governments in implementing all the regulations in order to ensure animal protection.

  The COA pointed out that quite a few serious cases of animal abuse that resulted in animal fatality were reported in 2016. In order to meet the social expectation of the general public, the amendment raised the penalty for slaughter, intentional injury, action that cause death or severe injury to animals from a maximum of 1 year in prison to 2 years, along with a NT$200,000 to NT$2 million fine which was originally NT$100,000 to NT$1 million. In addition, aggravated offenses involving the use of drugs and weapons that cause the death of multiple animals are punishable by 1 to 5-year prison sentence along with a fine ranging from NT$500,000 to NT$5 million. All these measures would protect dogs and cats from poison and weapon related hazards.

  The COA stated that in 2001 the Animal Protection Act has explicitly outlawed the slaughtering of dogs and cats, and in 2004 implemented the ban on the selling of dog and cat carcasses. The latest amendment further included the ban on the consumption and possession of dog / cat carcass and entrails, or food items that contained the aforementioned as ingredients. Violators could face fines ranging from NT$50,000 to NT$250,000. Moreover, to stop pet owners from leashing their pets to cars or motorcycles which might lead to injuries caused by dragging, the legislators have also proposed to ban such action and impose a fine between NT$3,000 and NT$15,000.

  The COA reminds that respecting and protecting life of animal has become a universal value, and animal protection work relies on each citizen's participation to be successful. Following the amendment, the Council and municipal / county governments would continue to integrate public and private resources in order to strengthen animal protection education and law enforcement efficiency so as to raise awareness for animal protection and animal care.