Sat, Jan 24, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Stray animals to get stay of execution

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The practice of putting down stray animals after 12 days in shelters is to be abolished under the newly amended Animal Protection Act (動物保護法), while penalties for animal cruelty have also been stiffened.

The legislature passed several amendments to the Animal Protection Act yesterday, including the scrapping of the section that grants the killing of animals kept in animal shelters “that are not claimed, adopted or properly disposed of over 12 days following a notice or public announcement.”

However, the “zero euthanasia” policy has been granted a two-year window, called a “sunrise provision,” which allows authorities time to prepare for the new measures and improve the environment of their shelters.

An offense that leads to an animal’s mutilation, organ damage or death is now punishable by up to a year in prison or criminal detention. The maximum fine has been doubled to NT$1 million (US$31,815).

New regulations also require those who train performing animals for profit to register with the government and be licensed. “The legislation has also emphasized that no wild animals can be trained for entertainment, lest the tragedy of ‘A-ho’ be repeated,” Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) said.

Revisions to acts concerning the rights of children and teenagers were also passed yesterday.

The Child and Youth Sexual Transaction Prevention Act (兒童及少年性交易防制條例) has been renamed the Child and Youth Sexual Exploitation Prevention Act.

“It was so-named because of the problem of child prostitutes in the past, but ‘sexual transaction’ insinuated quid pro quo exchanges between children and adults, while we know there is nothing equal between the two groups, be it age, social power or financial power,” Democratic Progressive Party legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) said.

The amendments to the act include an article preventing offenses that involve children and teenagers involved in sexual intercourse or obscene acts for viewing, or from working in questionable establishments.

The Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act (兒童及少年福利與權益保障法) has been amended to toughen the qualifications for nannies, and subject parents and carers who have inappropriately treated their children to compulsory consultation.

“Prohibition zones,” free of “gambling, sex and violence,” are also to be established within a 200m radius of public schools.”

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