Wed, Feb 26, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Group slams death rates at public animal shelters

DEATH TRAPS:An animal rights group said that Greater Taichung and Pingtung County put down high percentages of the dogs they receive

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Members of animal rights groups perform a skit during a press conference in front of the Control Yuan in Taipei yesterday. They held up signs displaying statistics showing the number of stray dogs that were put to death or died in public animal shelters across the nation.

Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times

An animal rights group called on shelters in Greater Taichung and Pingtung County to improve animal protection measures, saying that death rates at facilities in these regions ranked the highest in the nation last year.

At a press conference held in front of the Control Yuan in Taipei yesterday morning, several representatives from animal rights group Life Conservationist Association (LCA) and the Green Party held up signs displaying statistics showing the number of stray dogs that were put to death or died in various public animal shelters across the nation.

LCA executive director Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳) said that according to statistics gathered from public shelters, 4,993 dogs died in Greater Taichung’s shelter last year, a rate of 56 percent, which was the highest among public shelters in the five special municipalities.

Ho said 5,352 dogs died at the public shelter in National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, adding that the percentage of dogs put down over the past two years at the shelter was 99.92 percent in 2012 and 92.07 percent last year.

Animal shelters with high death rates should be viewed as “death shelters,” he said, calling on the Control Yuan to investigate whether the Council of Agriculture and local bureaus had been negligent in implementing animal protection measures.

The association said that public shelters in Taipei had an adoption rate of 65 percent and a death rate of 25 percent last year, producing the best animal protection results among all shelters.

Chiayi’s shelter also had an adoption rate of 78 percent and a death rate of 26 percent last year, the association said, adding that the numbers were good examples for other shelters to learn from.

Ho said the association encourages the government to work toward achieving zero death rates at public animal shelters and start by allocating money to set up better animal adoption mechanisms and stray animal prevention measures rather than budgeting for more shelters, dog catchers or euthanasia programs.

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