In a Tiny Yulin Victory, Taiwan Has Banned the Sale and Consumption of Dog Meat

New legislation is sending a major message to the region at large.

As all faithful Unleashed readers—and Lisa Vanderpump devotees—know, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, Guangxi, China is a ten day “celebration” that encourages the consumption of dog meat. During the festival, thousands of dogs—often in abominable, abusive conditions—are paraded through the streets in meat cages, preparing for death. (Lisa and her husband Ken Todd have co-founded Stop Yulin Forever in hopes of ending the torturous practice.)

These efforts still have light years to go, but there is now one relative victory to be celebrated—by way of Taiwan.

The country has officially banned the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat, and what’s more—it increased penalties and fines for animal cruelty. Parties guilty of deliberately harming animals face a fine that equals $65,000 and may face two years in prison. Parties guilty of selling or consuming dog or cat meat may be fined the equivalent of $8,000.

While this may not directly affect the Yulin Festival in the immediate, the legislation drives a hit to the dog trade industry while sending a major message to a region that needs a wakeup call. “Taiwan’s legislature has taken a monumental step in ending the dog meat trade,” said Adam Parascandola, the director of animal protection and crisis response for Humane Society International.

“This legislation is going to send a message to the Chinese mainland, Nagaland state in India, Vietnam, Indonesia and other Asian countries where dog meat consumption is still legal that ending the brutal dog meat trade is the positive trend across Asia and a step in the public’s long-term interest.”

Hopefully, with enough awareness and adaptive legislation, the dog meat trade—which kills almost 30 million dogs each year—will be abolished for good, and Yulin will go with it.

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