Thu, Jun 09, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Lawmakers vote to prohibit unauthorized foothold traps

‘STORIES OF SUFFERING’:Animal welfare activists demonstrated the traps outside the legislature, even putting their hands in them to show their cruelty

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff Reporter

A member of an animal protection group clamps herself with foothold traps yesterday as she pleads outside the legislature for amendments banning the traps.

Photo: CNA

Following strong calls from animal rights advocacy groups, the legislature yesterday gave secondary approval to an amendment to the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法) that would ban the unauthorized manufacture, sale and import of foothold traps.

Placing 100 used foothold traps on the steps leading to the Legislative Yuan’s side gate, artist Huang Tai-shan (黃泰山), who is also an animal rights advocate, tried to show what happens to an animal once it steps on one of those traps. Huang tested the traps with cucumbers and carrots — all of which were cut clean in half or badly damaged.

Farmers often place animal traps around their farms to prevent certain animals — such as mice — from eating their produce. -However, often animals such as dogs and cats get caught in the traps and lose their paws.

“The 100 foothold traps here represent 100 stories of suffering,” Huang said.

Huang, as well as Tainan City Association for Stray Animals executive director Hsu Man-hui (徐滿惠), put his hands inside a toothless foothold trap to try to understand the suffering of trapped animals.

Both said that after only a few minutes they felt like their bones were about to break into pieces and that the suffering of trapped animals must be unimaginable.

After hours of discussion, the committee gave secondary approval to an amendment that would ban the manufacture, sale, display and import of foothold traps without permission from the Council of Agriculture.

The amendment should become legally binding after a third reading, which is often more symbolic than an actual review.

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