The COA Enhances Animal Protection Campaign to Foreign Migrant Workers
The recent incidents involving foreign migrant workers slaughtering dogs and cats for consumption have caught the attention of society. To prevent more foreign workers from breaching the Animal Protection Act due to cultural differences and unfamiliarity with such regulations, the Council of Agriculture (COA) not only entrusted local animal protection agencies with the task of enhancing the inspection but also prepared informative materials about animal protection in various languages. The campaign would be carried out employing all types of media or vehicles with the support of Ministry of Labor and Ministry of the Interior. This year the Council even counseled animal protection groups to join effort with public authorities in producing various promotional materials.
Advocate animal protection to foreign migrant workers through multiple channels
The COA stated that according to article 25 of the Animal Protection Act, regardless of nationality, anyone who tortures or abuses cats or dogs causing the animal to sustain serious injuries or death could face up to 1 year in prison along with a NT$100,000 to NT$1 million fine. Therefore, in order to assist foreign laborers to understand Taiwanese laws so as to avoid future offenses, the COA has produced and provided relevant animal protection promotional materials since 2010 to Ministry of Labor, municipal and county governments so that the authorities may utilize these materials to enhance foreigners' understanding on said regulations. In addition to the Handbook For Foreign Workers in Taiwan and the video Educating Foreign Workers on their Labor Rights handed out by Ministry of Labor, foreign workers must attend the Labor Law Advisory Workshop at the airport when entering Taiwan, which reminds foreigners to treat animals humanely and that it is prohibited to capture and consume dog or cat meat in Taiwan. Employers and human resources agencies must also continue to educate foreign workers so as to help them familiarize with Taiwanese regulations, cultural customs, and their own labor rights in order to avoid penalties due to violation of the law.
Public and private sectors join efforts to enhance the promotion of animal protection
The COA reiterated that in addition to working alongside ministries and other public institutions, the Council also started to cooperate with animal protection agencies since 2015 in promoting animal protection campaigns. The project consists of organizing promotional events at foreign workers’ national festivities, setting up websites, and releasing a short film in Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, and Filipino entitled “Secure your right to work: Chefs do not kill dogs for meat!”. More than 200,000 copies of posters and pamphlets in four languages have been printed and sent to relevant institutions and agencies for promotional use. The electronic file of published promotional materials can also be downloaded from COA’s Animal Protection Information webpage. The Council expects that through the campaign more foreign migrant workers from Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines can understand that due to different customs and culture, killing dogs and cats in Taiwan is against the law.