Advocates call for crackdown on cat ‘slaughterhouses’

The China Post staff

Two ruling party lawmakers and representatives from an animal rights group called on the government to crack down on shady operators who have been slaughtering stray cats for their meat, saying that the problem is more widespread than has been reported. Earlier this week, reports surfaced of slaughterhouses in the southern counties of Yunlin and Kaohsiung that specialized in selling the meat of butchered stray cats. But according to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Tsai Huang-liang, similar slaughterhouses can be found in other parts of the country as well, including Taipei. DPP lawmaker Chen Chi-mai and other animal rights activists called on the Council of Agriculture to shut down these illegal businesses and fine operators the maximum allowed under law. Chen pointed out that under revisions to the Animal Protection Law that were passed in January of this year, the slaughter of household pets is restricted and can result in a fine of up to NT$50,000. But he also lamented the fact that even though the law has been in place for over half a year now, it doesn’t seem to have had much impact. Animal activists also criticized the government for doing nothing to stop the violations despite knowing of their existences. Members of a local animal rights group said that they had provided the government with photographed documentation of the existence of such slaughterhouses as early as last year.