In a landmark amendment to their pre-existing laws, Taiwan has become the first country in Asia to totally ban the consumption of dog and cat meat.

According to the Animals Asia Foundation, the Animal Protection Act enforced on the island only prohibited the slaughter and marketing of pet meats. Now, the actual act of eating the substance is punishable by up to $8,000 in fines.

The legislature also includes further reenforcement on other animal cruelty-related offenses. Animal abuse can now result in up to $60,000 in fines or two years in prison, while repeat offenders can be jailed for up to five years.

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The amendments were passed earlier this week by the Legislative Yuan, leaving them in the capable hands of the Taiwanese Cabinet and the Presidential Office. Once signed, the ban could go into full effect by the end of April.

Though Taiwan is the first country to take such a progressive stance, the continuous pressure from Asian animal rights organizations is resulting in more and more positive change.

MOREAnimal Activist Makes Historic Deal With Meat Market to Close All Slaughterhouses

In December, 22 vendors of South Korea’s largest meat market agreed to cease the slaughter of canines, leading them to shut down their facilities. The vendors are receiving financial support from the city until they have the resources to pursue other jobs and careers as part of the districts efforts to reform the market.

Activists within the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation also managed to convince the Gupo Meat Market to close not only their dog and cat slaughterhouses – but their duck, chicken, and rabbit facilities as well.

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