Thu, Dec 27, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Former monk leads fight for animal rights

PROTECTION:Chu Tseng-hung dreams of the day his group, the EAST, can disband, for that would mean animal welfare has matured in the nation

By Chen Wei-tzu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The EAST has to continuously monitor to see whether the law is implemented.

If the government is lax in enforcing the law, then the EAST would take legal action against it, Chu said.

Another way to ensure that the law is enforced is to draw on consumer support, he said.

It has been more than a decade since the Animal Protection Act was passed, and it needs to be reviewed and amended, Chu said, adding that Britain, Hong Kong and New Zealand had all made legislative changes to better protect animal welfare.

“Animal protection is not limited to saving them from harm, but also focusing on their basic needs, which include freedom from starvation, discomfort, pain, disease and fear,” Chu said.

Animal owners also needed to understand the concept of animal welfare, he said.

For instance, many pet owners put shoes on their dogs, but that is wrong because the shoes prevent dogs from trimming their nails, as well as prevent them from perspiring through their paws, Chu said.

While the owners may think they are showing their pets love and concern, such actions go against the natural needs of their pets and harm them, Chu said.

Unlike other animal protection and welfare groups which have big plans for the future, the EAST’s ultimate goal is to self-disband in about two or three decades, because that would mean that animal welfare has matured in Taiwan and no longer needs supervision, Chu said.

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