Sun, Aug 06, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Animal activists call for action on dog-breeding

A DOG'S LIFE Animal rights supporters yesterday appealed for changes to be made to ensure that, among other things, inherited disorders could be bred out

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A puppy stands in front of animal rights advocates criticizing the government for not properly regulating the dog-breeding industry at a press conference yesterday.

PHOTO: WANG MIN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES

Animal rights advocates yesterday criticized the government for not properly regulating the dog-breeding industry.

They also announced that a demonstration would be held next month to urge legislators and the administration to amend the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法).

The presentation by the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan indicated that the nation's dogs are mostly bred in uncertified and unhygienic environments. The situation has proven to be problematic, according to the society, as breeders tend to over-produce dogs and allow dogs with inherited disorders or which suffer from disease to continue breeding.

The society said that the interests of dog owners were not safeguarded either, as most of them purchase dogs without being given adequate information on the dog's health.

When dogs were diagnosed with inherited disorders and their owners asked for compensation, breeders would often avoid responsibility or choose to settle the disputes by offering a full refund or exchange for different dogs.

"They [breeders] said they are willing to compensate us for the loss," said one of the dog owners at the press conference, who purchased a golden retriever that was later diagnosed with Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD), but "they were actually paying us to shut up."

The society asked the Council of Agriculture last year to establish a mechanism that would help identify inheritable disorders in dogs. It also proposed in a public hearing in June to amend the Animal Protection Act. The Council, however, simply said the suggestions would serve as important references and that further study and discussion were necessary.

Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) said yesterday the situation shows that something was wrong with the way we treat "life" and vowed to push for the passage of an amendment in the upcoming legislative session.

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