Protesters outside the Ministry of Labor in Taipei. Photo by Central News Agency.

Taipei’s Ministry of Labor has come under pressure from protesters demanding that local employers should be held accountable when they turn a blind eye to their foreign workers eating dog meat, Taiwan News reported. Delegations from several civic groups protested outside the Ministry on August 4.

Jodi Lin, a spokesperson for international rotary club Kiwanis Taiwan, points to a number of reports that migrant workers have slaughtered domesticated dogs and cats for their meat at their dorms or factories. Lin said that employers should be held responsible because the actions occurred on their premises.

The protesters urged the Labor Ministry to amend Article 54 of the Employment Service Act so that employers will not be allowed to hire migrant workers who are found to have killed and eaten dogs and cats.

At present, employers are required to inform their workers that dog and cat consumption is illegal in Taiwan, said Chuang Kuo-liang, an official in charge of cross-border manpower management in the Ministry of Labor. Any amendment of the law requires a social consensus, he said.

In Taiwan, animal abusers can face jail sentences of up to two years and a maximum fine of NT$2 million (US$65,300). As of January, there are 677,698 migrant workers in Taiwan. Of them, approximately 40% are Indonesians, 30% are Vietnamese, 20% are Filipinos, and 10% are Thais.

Read: Dog owner claims Vietnamese migrants barbecued her pet