DPP legislator proposed harsher punishment for animal smuggling 走私動物案件判刑偏輕 立委提修法重懲

The recent euthanasia of 154 smuggled cats provoke public anger, but government officials have their concerns.

Presenter: People reacted angrily after 154 cats smuggled into Taiwan were euthanized. Legislator Lo Chih-cheng has proposed amending laws to make a one-year sentence the minimum punishment for "illegal smuggling" and to increase fines.

At the end of August, the Coast Guard intercepted a fishing boat smuggling 154 pet cats. All the cats were subsequently euthanized. President Tsai Ing-wen has promised to amend laws, and the legislature convened a public hearing to discuss punishment. Under Article 2 of the current Smuggling Penalty Act, offenders who smuggle illegal controlled articles are subject to a maximum sentence of seven years with a maximum fine of NT$3 million. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lo Chih-cheng says the maximum sentence can remain at seven years, but there should be a minimum sentence of at least one year.

Lo Chih-cheng, Legislator (DPP):” The maximum is seven years, but the majority are sentenced to several months. Is this enough of a deterrent? I think many people have doubts.”

Animal rights groups support amending laws in this direction but say the minimum sentence should be raised to three years. 

Chu Tseng-hung, Chair, Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan:”These cases should be handled as important cases, and the sentences should be at least three years. Authorities can't notify of investigations in advance. Consumers also need to ask about the origin when buying pets.”

The Animal Protection Act currently allows for fines between NT$100,000 and NT$3 million for the illegal sale of house pets. Lo's proposal increases the fine range from NT$300,000 to NT$3 million. Pet store owners say there are only isolated cases of smuggled pets and hope the amendments conform to the principle of proportionality.

Chien Sheng-wen, Chair, Pet Commerce Association of New Taipei City:” Let's say I'm legally importing, and I'm spending NT$100,000. A smuggler only needs to spend NT$10,000. Most legal dealers won't have this problem. Perhaps those who only recently entered the industry or those who carelessly made mistakes will have this problem. Will they be fined NT$3 million? Some people won't even earn that much in a lifetime.”

The Council of Agriculture hopes that restrictions on monetary value and weight can be eliminated when laws are amended. It also hopes the controlled area can be expanded beyond China. The Executive Yuan will produce its version of amendments for the legislature to review.




民進黨立委 羅致政:「最高可以到七年可是他們都(被判)幾個月,到底這樣裁量的刑度足不足以達到遏止,我相信很多人都有問號。」


動物保護社會研究會執行長 朱增宏:「他應該要當作是重大案件來處理,應該要三年以上,平常的查緝要能夠做到,不能夠事前去通知。然後消費者也要有這個意識,他在買寵物的時候要認清來源。」


新北市寵物公會理事長 簡聖文:「我本來合法進口,我可能要花個10萬塊。他(走私)只需要1萬塊。」