Taiwan hotpot restaurant fined for using dog meat broth

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Kaohsiung City Animal Protection Office (KCAPO) yesterday announced that it had discovered a mutton hotpot restaurant using dog meat broth, and issued a NT$50,000 (S$2080) fine for violating the Animal Protection Act.

The restaurant was discovered using dog meat in its hotpot broth after the KCAPO conducted tests following rumours that the shopkeeper had been selling dog meat to their customers. The results released yesterday confirmed that the rumours were true.

KCAPO official Yeh Kun-sung stated that despite the restaurant claim that it was an "old" shop, it had only opened last winter, and the owners are an elderly couple in poor health with not many customers.

The KCAPO inspectors raided the restaurant with several police officers in early March after receiving a tip claiming that the store sold dog meat instead of mutton on a day when there were no customers. Meat and broth packages from the store's freezers were sent to the KCAPO for tests.

The owners were summoned for questioning on March 22 and stated that they had always cooked the meat and broth themselves. The owners claimed that they did not understand why the results showed traces of dog meat.

According to the Animal Protection Act, it is illegal to kill dogs or cats and sell the carcasses. Fines of NT$50,000 to NT$250,000 for selling dog or cat carcasses and NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 for killing the animals may be levied. Repeat offenders may face a sentence of 12 months behind bars.