Taiwan is making headlines after a decision to outlaw the consumption of cat and dog meat, a first in Asia. Before the amendment, the country’s Animal Protection Act only prohibited the slaughter and sale of cat and dog meat. According to The Guardian, anyone caught violating the island’s new regulation can be fined up to NT$250,000 (almost US$8,200).

In addition to being fined, those found in violation of the law could see their names, photographs, and crimes published by the Taiwanese government. Repeat offenders could also face jail time and be ordered to pay higher fines.

The ban is part of the Taiwanese government’s attempt to make the island more animal-friendly, reports Yahoo7. Other amendments were also passed, including enforcing harsher punishments for those who purposely harm animals. New regulations involving dogs’ safety and motor vehicles, including scooters, will also be enforced.

More than a decade ago, PETA helped to get the first animal-welfare law passed in Taiwan. PETA President Ingrid Newkirk toured the pounds there and then sat in a cage in Taipei to call attention to the plight of cats and dogs who are drowned and beaten to death.

While the treatment of cats and dogs still needs to be improved—and all the other animals who are killed for food still need protection—any step forward is a good step. But going vegan is the kindest and best step of all. We look forward to the day when other animals are included in Taiwan’s new law.

What You Can Do

If you think that harming cats and dogs is wrong, please consider extending your respect for them to all animals—including pigs, cows, fish, and chickens. Going vegan is the best thing that you can do for animals, your health, and the planet. For help getting started, check out our Guide to Going Vegan.