Target: Wang Jin-pyng, President of the Legislative Yuan
Goal: Stricter enforcement of laws banning the sale of dog meat
In a recent raid on a slaughterhouse in Taiwan, the corpses of twelve dogs were found along with 435 dried dog penises. Although Taiwan has taken strong steps to eliminate the sale of dog meat in the country, the problem still exists due to local myths and cultural beliefs surrounding the animals and their meat. Taiwan must take further steps to ensure the brutal slaughter of dogs is ended through legislation, education and enforcement.
Besides the bodies and animal parts found by Taiwanese officials in the slaughterhouse in Yunlin County, two live dogs and numerous collars were found on the premises. Though the government did not offer any initial explanation for the gruesome find, local reports suggest that the dog parts are perhaps being used to make a wine that supposedly increases male potency. The findings come nearly two years after a publicized undercover operation that exposed a slaughterhouse and the restaurant attached were selling dog meat dishes. Taiwan has taken commendable steps to deter citizens from selling the meat; in 1998, the government made killing dogs a punishable offense with up to a one-year prison sentence and a fine of around $34,500 for repeat offenders. In 2001, the sale of dog meat was banned and in 2007, eating dog meat became a crime carrying a fine of around $14,000.
But the grisly recent discovery shows that these fines are simply not enough to stop the demand for dog meat. The local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals has worked with the government to create a school curriculum that attempts to promote humane treatment of these animals and dispel the myths surrounding the consumption of them. The government must strike the problem at its root through education but also continue to send a strong message by strictly enforcing the laws in place.
Dear President Wang Jin-pyng,
For years now, the consumption and sale of dog meat has existed within the dark underside of Taiwan. There is no doubt that the government has taken commendable steps to stop the problem through heavy fines and other criminal repercussions, but the recent discovery of twelve dog corpses and over 400 dried dog parts in a slaughterhouse shows that the issue continues to exist. This sad find comes nearly two years after investigators went undercover and exposed a slaughterhouse and its adjunct restaurant were producing and selling dog meat. Something more needs to be done.
There is a myth that dog meat or dog products have mystical powers to help with things like impotency. The fact that this belief exists and the demand for dog meat continues shows that there is an educational issue in Taiwan. We urge you to partner with organizations like the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to implement a curriculum in schools that seeks to dispel any myths surrounding the consumption of dog meat and fosters compassion and challenges the inhumane treatment of animals. Simultaneously, enforcement of the strict laws for dog meat production and consumption needs to be stepped up. Undercover investigations can infiltrate operations that pose as legitimate businesses. Increase fines and jail time for offenders. These heartbreaking massacres cannot be stopped without a multilateral approach to stopping the problem at its source and sending a message of intolerance.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Rachel Taft via Flickr