The ROC Animal Protection Law came into force on November 4 of 1998, aiming to protect animals and to show respect for their lives. The Law consists of 40 articles in seven Chapters, i.e. General Provisions, General Protection of Animals, Scientific Utilization of Animals, Management of Pets, Administrative Supervision, Penal Provisions and Addendum.
- Enacted relevant regulations to complete animal protection legislation:
Based upon the Animal Protection Law, several rules and regulations have already been promulgated, such as Enforcement Rules for the Animal Protection Law, Rules for the Establishment of an Animal Protection Committee under the Council of Agriculture, Rules for the Establishment of a Laboratory Animals Ethics Committee, Pet Registration Rules, Commercial Pet Business Management Regulation, Rules for the Establishment of an Animal Experimentation Management Unit and Protective Measures for Keepers of Aggressive Pets in Public Places or Locations.
- Improved on stray animal management:
In view that the kennel facilities run by local governments were mostly obsolete and unfit by international standards, the ROC government has since 1999 provided all necessary assistance to county governments to help renovate local dog shelters and ensure humane treatment of the animals kept in these facilities. Currently, a total of 16 local county governments are operating modernized facilities. In addition, the ROC government has established a standard procedure for stray dog control and is organizing humane dog-catching training programs on a regular basis.
- Strengthened the pet registration system and implemented sterilization measures:
A nationwide pet registration system has been put into practice since September 1, 1999, and as of the end of October 2000, approximately 510,000 pet dogs have completed registration, accounting for 25% of the total domestic pets. Also, an on-line pet registration web site has been established, which takes in all the data uploaded from local registration offices at city or county governments, and provides a lost-and-found service for owners looking for their missing pets. Other than pet registration, the government has been implementing a comprehensive dog sterilization program.
- Administered a nationwide dog census:
The government has commissioned the National Taiwan University to conduct a Taiwan dog census in August 2000. According to the survey, Taiwan has a total of 2.46 million dogs, including 1.8 million of domestic dogs and 660,000 stray ones.
- Promoted the commercial pet business registration system:
The ROC Council of Agriculture promulgated the Commercial Pet Business Management Regulation on July 19, 2000, which stipulated that all commercial businesses engaging in the breeding, trade, and lodging of dogs shall complete registration within two years and that failure to comply with the registration requirement will incur penalties according to the Animal Protection Law.
- Provided better supervision on the use of laboratory animals:
The Rules for the Establishment of a Animal Experimentation Management Unit, promulgated by the ROC Council of Agriculture on July 3, 2001, requires all organizations that use animals for scientific purposes, including institutes of higher learning, hospitals, pharmaceutical factories, biopharmaceutical factories, animal drug plants, and testing and research institutions, to assemble a management unit within a year to supervise all animal experimentations within that organization and that failing to do so will incur penalties. In an effort to ensure the effectiveness of this Regulation, the Council of Agriculture has edited and published the Guidelines on Laboratory Animal Use and Management as an easy reference for all interested parties.
- Conducted specialized training activities on animal protection issues:
Since 1999, the government has implemented a variety of training programs, including training 23 classes of animal protection inspectors with 600 trainees in total, subsidizing local governments with the training of approximately 1,000 voluntary animal protection enforcers, co-organizing with the Humane Society of the United States a shelter manager training seminar and an international animal protection training seminar, together attracting approximately 200 participants, conducting humane dog-catching training for 200 dog-catchers, and offering three training classes for over 400 professional managers on laboratory animal treatment. Further in this year, the government has trained seven classes of 200 elementary and secondary school teachers in the hope that they will better educate the next generation about animal care and protection.
- Organized various educational and promotional activities:
The Council of Agriculture has dedicated September of each year for animal protection as of the year 2000, celebrating it with large-scale promotional campaigns at the central level, and supplementing with regional educational or promotional activities funded partly by the central government. It is expected that the widely diversified activities will attract the mass media's attention and through whose reports public awareness on relevant issues will be greatly enhanced. In addition, the government has taken initiatives in releasing relevant news and information, and producing commercials or putting on advertisements on TV, radios, buses and other printed media to help educate local residents about animal protection.
- Reinforced international cooperation and exchange:
The ROC Council of Agriculture signed a three-year cooperation memorandum with the Humane Society of the United Sates in 1998, which was extended for another three-year term in April this year, in order to introduce the most advanced animal protection ideas and technologies from around the globe. Under the agreement, the ROC government has dispatched various delegations to attend training programs at the Society's Hawaiian branch. Furthermore, the Society has regularly sent their representatives to assist with local training programs, offered valuable recommendations and advice and even produced English propagation materials to be disseminated by ROC overseas government offices to help the international communities to learn more about the progress of animal protection in Taiwan.
To ensure compliance with the increasingly strict environmental laws and to create an image of environmental friendliness for livestock farms, the government will focus on the following areas while maintaining all its past promotional efforts: