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Strengthen Animal Protection and Improve Animal Welfare
Since implemented on November 4, 1998, Taiwan’s “Animal Protection Act” has been amended for numerous times due to the changes of social value and people’s conception. The Council of Agriculture (COA) is also committed to promoting a series of works, such as promotion of animal protection concept, inspection of illegal cases, management of pet and pet industry, execution of sterilization, shelter the stray animals, and treat farm and experimental animals humanly.
Strengthen animal protection system to improve quality and efficiency of the animal management
In cooperation with the central government’s organizational restructure, the COA will be changed into the Ministry of Agriculture, which plans to set up an animal protection department fully responsible for protecting animals and strengthening the government’s management system. Moreover, it will draw up a four-year midterm project that targets on the overall quality improvement of public animal shelters, and assists municipal and county (city) governments to increase their executive manpower as well as expand volunteers’ participation. With concrete plans, it is expected to synchronously enhance the central and local governments’ management efficiency, so as to protect animal in a more efficient way.
Strengthen management of pet dogs source to decrease the number of stray dogs
The COA aims to educate people with the concept of taking lifelong care of pets dogs so that to eliminate the abandonment of pets. After the pet dog registration system was implemented on September 1, 1999, the owners are obliged to implant microchips to their dogs and register for them. In order to urge pet owners to complete registration, the COA supervises municipal and county (city) governments to implement the inspection of pet registration in the public places.
Moreover, in order to control the flow of pets and prevent unscrupulous businesspeople from abandoning pets, all companies involved in pet reproduction, sale and foster should apply for permission to their local governments. Only after getting licenses are they allowed to start business. Furthermore, the COA carries out the regular check and evaluation of these licensed pet companies, helping animal owner receive information of which companies are managed well as a way to protect their rights.
Execute sterilization works in key areas to reduce the number of stray dogs
In remote and mountainous areas relatively in lack of veterinary resources, local residents tend to keep their pet dogs outside freely. Due to this geographical feature, these areas become key areas where abandoning dogs are more likely to occur. Thus, the COA pools resources to execute sterilization works in the countryside. As the dog management project is established in 2014, the local governments organize veterinarian and volunteer teams, mobilizing village staffs to inform local residents to cooperate. On a specific date, they inject rabies vaccines, implant microchips, complete registration and conduct sterilization surgeries for all of the dogs in these areas. As the pet owners’ responsibility is strengthened, it surely will effectively improve the situation of dog owner not letting their dogs reproduce puppies outside and abandoned as stray dogs.
Promote sheltered animal adoption to accelerate the reduction of the number of euthanasia
To play the most important role of public animal shelters and let sheltered animals be adopted, the COA supervises the local governments to actively develop multi-adoption tasks based on distinct features of each area. In recent years, the number of sheltered animals being adopted increases considerably while the number of those in need of euthanasia due to the lack of space also decreases significantly. To fully disclose information about animal adoption and widely spread it through the Internet, the COA builds up a platform of national animal adoption website (http://animal-adoption.coa.gov.tw/) to integrate all information from national public animal shelters. The platform updates sheltered animals’ pictures and status quo, and has a smart mobile phone version synchronously. Thus, people using different interfaces can easily browse all information in any time. In 2014, moreover, the COA has implemented the multi-adoption project that offers more incentives. It organizes professional adoption teams after training, designs more friendly interfaces, and expands adoptee communities. Last but not least, it continues to educate all people to adopt animals without abandonment.