Vietnamese immigrant workers face jail time for killing dogs in Taiwan

By Nguyen Quy   October 27, 2018 | 06:33 pm PT
Vietnamese immigrant workers face jail time for killing dogs in Taiwan
Killing and eating dogs is banned in Taiwan. Photo by AFP/ Murat Kula
Taiwan will prosecute two Vietnamese immigrant workers for killing and cooking dogs in breach of its Animal Protection Act. 

A Thursday midnight raid by police and animal protection officers found a group of 17 Vietnamese workers from a water treatment plant in Taichung’s Fongyuan District eating dog meat in a dormitory, the Taipei Times reports.

The police also found the head of a dog in a plastic bag in the dormitory’s kitchen and several pots of meat stew, which they assume was made with the meat of the slaughtered dog.

The police also rescued three other dogs that had been caught to be slaughtered for food.

The incident has sparked anger among animal rights advocates and pet owners, who’ve demanded severe punishment be meted out for the killing and eating of dogs or cats.

A forensic team was dispatched to the scene for testing the 17 Vietnamese workers to determine who’d killed the dog.

Blood traces were found on a 36-year-old Vietnamese woman surnamed Nguyen who confessed to cooking the dog meat, but she identified a 52-year-old male worker surnamed Giap as the butcher.

Based on the evidence found in the dormitory, prosecutors said both Nguyen and Giap would be charged for killing the dogs.

The Animal Protection Act passed in Taiwan last year expressly forbids the killing dogs and cats for food. The consumption of dog meat is popular in several Asian countries including China, South Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Under the Animal Protection Act, the killing of dogs or cats is punishable by up to two years in prison and a maximum fine of NT$2 million ($64,504); while those eating dog or cat meat can be fined up to NT$250,000 ($8,068).

The consumption of dog meat has become controversial in Vietnam, too, with Hanoi People’s Committee calling on residents to stop eating dog and cat meat because their slaughter was undermining the capital city’s “civilized” image.

The request aroused controversy and debate, with many residents criticizing it as an imposition of foreign values on Vietnamese citizens.

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