Sun, Sep 09, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Animal rights activists defend right to feed cats

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Dozens of animal rights activists demonstrated in front of the New Taipei City (新北市) Government yesterday, protesting against a borough chief who prohibited feeding stray cats in the neighborhood.

Holding banners that read: “Feeding does not equal polluting,” “Neutering pets is reasonable and feeding stray animals is not illegal,” the protesters said that feeding stray animals was not against the law.

Huang Tai-shan (黃泰山), convenor of an animal welfare group named the Republic of Cats, Dogs and People, said a borough chief in New Taipei City (新北市) last month posted a notice saying that feeding stray cats is a public nuisance and that residents in the borough should not help a woman surnamed Wang (王) feed cats in the neighborhood, or they would become an accomplice.

Saying the notice stated the directive came from the city government’s Environmental Protection Bureau, the protesters yesterday demanded an explanation.

In response, the bureau said that in July, it received a petition from the borough’s administration office saying that some residents in the borough had complained that feeding stray cats sullied the environment.

The bureau said it sent officials to check up on the matter, but did not find any evidence, adding that it did not ask the borough chief to post the controversial notice.

As its duty is to manage and maintain a healthy environment, the bureau said that it would not fine people who feed stray animals, but if the behavior indeed caused pollution, the violators would be fined according to the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法).

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