Thu, Feb 26, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Institute proposes database to deter animal abusers

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei Municipal Institute for Animal Health plans to set up a database on animal abusers to bar them from adopting stray animals.

Institute director Yen I-feng (嚴一峰) said a database on animal abusers or those who abandon pets should help prevent animal abuse.

Information on the abusers would not be available to the public, but the institute could collect such information for animal protection groups as reference for animal adoption.

CASE

The institute said it would develop the database in the wake of a recent alleged abuse case, in which a National Taiwan University (NTU) student was accused of skinning kittens or throwing cats off buildings after adopting them.

Animal rights advocates said the student, who lived at the NTU dormitory — where pets are not allowed — had adopted at least six kittens from six different people in the past year.

The bodies of three kittens were found in a trash can at the dorm.

INVESTIGATION

Yen said the institute had talked with the student, surnamed Lee, on Tuesday.

The student denied all accusations and claimed he had adopted the cats to release them into the wild.

The institute was still collecting evidence and will hand the case over to police and prosecutors for further investigation if more incriminating information is found about Lee, Yen said, while urging people who give pets for adoption to be more vigilant about adopters’ personal backgrounds.

FINES

In accordance with the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法), anyone who is found to have abused or killed an animal is subject to a fine of between NT$100,000 and NT$500,000 and may have his or her name or photo publicized.

People involved in serious animal abuse and killing may be fined between NT$200,000 and NT$1 million (US$28,700).

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