Thu, May 24, 2007 - Page 2 News List

City urged to sterilize stray animals

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Government yesterday pledged to adopt measures next year to sterilize stray dogs and cats instead of euthanizing them.

Although the city government has encouraged residents to adopt stray dogs and cats, about 50 percent of the city's strays are euthanized each year by Taipei Municipal Institute for Animal Health.

"Some stray dogs and cats are euthanized due to limited space in the shelters ... but we intend to promote animal adoption and sterilization and replace euthanasia with sterilization," director of the institute Yen I-feng (嚴一峰) said yesterday at the Taipei City Council.

Yen made the comments in response to Taiwan Solidarity Union Taipei City Councilor Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘), who urged the city to adopt a more humane alternative to managing strays.

According to current municipal policy, stray animals sheltered in the institute for more than 10 days without being adopted are euthanized. More than 16,000 stray dogs and cats have been euthanized in the past four years.

Chen said the city government should register all strays, and then manage the number of strays through a "Trap-Neuter-Release" (TNR) program.

"Registration and TNR would help to control the number of strays. The city government's policy should focus on caring for and respecting animals," he said.

Shih Chuan-fa (釋傳法), secretary-general of the Life Conservationist Association, joined Chen in asking the city not to deal with strays by putting them to death.

"The cost of euthanization for one animal is NT$4,000, and sterilization costs much less. We believe that sterilization is a humane way to solve this issue," Shih said.

Yen said the city government already started a TNR program for stray cats, and added that the adoption rate of stray dogs and cats is growing each year. Yen added that the budget next year will allow the institute to promote sterilization.

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