President Tsai campaigned with photos of her cats and spoke out for animal protection throughout her campaign.

President Tsai Ing-wen’s cats, Think Think and Ah Tsai, going at it.

Taiwan already had a national Animal Protection Act that prohibited the slaughter and selling of dog and cat flesh. In April, an important amendment was added: the prohibition of the consumption of dog and cat flesh!

…and the fine is hefty: $1,640 and $8,200.  Further, anyone convicted of intentionally harming or torturing animals can face two years in jail and a $65,000 fine! Taiwan is not kidding! 

Violators may also see their names, photos and crimes publicized, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency.

Some forces that contributed to the new amendment include thousands of names on petitions that were sent to the government; the growing number of dog and cat “owners” in Taiwan.  These dog and cat guardians have become sensitized to the animals, and now view them as the individuals they are; of course, the main person to thank for the law is President Tsai Ing-wen, who herself is an animal lover.

President Tsai adopted three retired guide dogs together, and promised to pass a law that would remove the restrictions that keep them from many public places.  President Tsai is hoping that as the dogs are allowed to enter properties from where they are currently banned, more people will have seeing-eye dogs, and that will also provide homes for the dogs.