An amendment to the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法) should be put on the legislative agenda to save the lives of countless stray animals across the country, rights activist Huang Tai-shan (黃泰山) said, during a “kneeling protest” he staged yesterday.
“If this seriously flawed Animal Protection Act continues to be carried out, it will pose a threat to the precious lives of innumerable stray animals. I will keep kneeling until an amendment to the law is put on the legislative agenda,” Huang said while on his knees in front of the legislature in Taipei.
Since the implementation of the act in 1998, the predicaments of stray animals have steadily gone from bad to worse, Huang said.
Of the 1.23 million stray dogs captured and sent to animal shelters nationwide between 2001 and last year, 1.04 million did not make it out alive, Huang said, adding that animal rights were often disregarded by the public.
“The government’s poor management on the issue has resulted in a proliferation of unconscionable breeders and breeding farms across the country, while the Council of Agriculture, which is the competent authority for the matter, has failed to propose any amendments to make up for the defects in the law,” Huang said.
Huang said animal welfare advocates had attempted to submit their own versions of amendments in the past, but they were all turned down.
A council official even made it clear that the government would oppose any amendments drafted by the public, Huang said, expressing indignation at council’s handling of the matter.
“The council has failed to propose a better version of the amendment, while continuing to speak against any drafts submitted by the public. Such moves to elude responsibility and block reform are absolutely detestable,” Huang said.
Huang also called on cross-party legislators to show sympathy for stray animals by including an amendment on the legislative agenda as soon as possible.
He said he would continue kneeling from 10am through 4pm every day until his request is granted.
Translated by Stacy Hsu, staff writer