Taiwan Implementing 'Zero Euthanasia' Policy
We wrote in August of 2016 that one of the goals of Taiwan’s first animal rights political party was to “help local governments prepare for the “zero euthanasia” policy taking effect in February 2017,” and that policy is set to come into full effect as of tomorrow. The BBC writes:
“From 4 February 2017, it will be illegal to put down abandoned animals. The government has pledged to increase funding and staffing at shelters and provide psychological counselling. Budgets have also increased by 40%, there will be more inspectors and now anybody who wishes to abandon their pet at a shelter will have to pay a fee as high as $125.”
The article mentioned that in 2015 alone around 10,900 animals were put down, and that shelters are “underfunded and understaffed,” and profiled the tragic story of veterinarian Chien Chih-cheng, who committed suicide on May 5 by “using the same drug she used to put down animals.” While the number of animals being abandoned in shelters is an issue in Taiwan, the article notes that “only 30% of the island’s 1.7 million dogs have been spayed or neutered,” despite it recently becoming law. Chiang Wen-chuan, chief of the animal protection section of the Council of Agriculture, states:
“We are very short-staffed. All of Taiwan only has 140 animal protection staff. It’s a systematic problem. Ending euthanasia and expanding shelters and staff will not solve the problem.”
Instead, activists want the government to focus on breeders, support organizations that care for strays and provide subsidies for NGOs to actually spay and neuter animals.
Photo Credit: www.doginsurance.com