The Keelung City Government has drafted regulations to improve the quality of veterinary care and expects to begin implementing them on Tuesday next week.
Under the proposed regulations, a veterinary clinic would have to employ at least one certified veterinarian or assistant veterinarian, while clinics that use radiology equipment would have to have employees who are certified to operate radiology equipment.
Medical care facilities, animal holding pens and operating rooms would have to be separate, and possessing certain medical equipment would be mandatory.
If the municipality promulgates the regulation, Keelung authorities would be authorized under the Veterinarian Act (獸醫師法) to fine non-complaint clinics or veterinarians up to NT$9,000 and suspend their licenses for up to a month if they fail to improve.
Veterinarians and pet owners overwhelmingly support the bill, which would improve the standard of care and equipment, Keelung Mayor Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) of the Democratic Progressive Party said on Tuesday last week
If the regulation is passed, all new clinics would have to meet its tightened standards to become licensed, while existing clinics would be required to become compliant within two years, he said.
The city has 27,000 pet dogs and 9,000 cats, in addition to rabbits, mice, ermines, birds and turtles, all of which depend on veterinary clinics, Keelung Department of Economic Affairs Director-General Lin Ching-hai (林青海) said.
The regulations are intended to encourage facility upgrades and protect the rights of residents, he said.
The public should make sure that their veterinarians and clinics have the appropriate licenses, and are encouraged to report illegal operators to the municipal government, Lin added.
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