People can be fined NT$100,000 to NT$3 million (US$3,247 to US$97,396) for offering boarding services for pets without a permit, the Taipei Animal Protection Office said yesterday.
Only licensed businesses with permits from local authorities are allowed to breed, trade or offer board for animals, it said, citing Article 22 of the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法).
The office carries out regular inspections on popular pet-trading Web sites or fan pages to check that vendors using them have provided license numbers, said Wu Ching-an (吳晉安), the head of the office’s animal rescue team, adding that only legal vendors with permit numbers may engage in the pet trade.
Photo courtesy of Taipei City Animal Protection Office
This year, of the 155 cases of dog or cat breeding, trading or boarding services offered online that the office inspected, five — three cases of trading and two cases of boarding without a permit — were found to contravene provisions of the act, the office said, adding that fines in the cases had a combined total of NT$450,000.
Many people who provide boarding services for pets — including those who use the pet boarding page on Professional Technology Temple (PTT), the nation’s largest online bulletin board system — might think that they are helping by offering these services, Wu said.
However, they require a permit, he said, adding that many people have accidentally broken the law.
Although offering board services for pets is less profitable than breeding, the potential fines are the same, he said.
The office has previously notified PTT of the issue, which is why there is now a statement on its pet-boarding page saying that such services must be offered with a permit, he said.
However, the office has since found a case of a PTT user offering board services without a permit via private messaging, Wu said.
Government’s regulations state that people who report breaches of the act can receive 50 percent of the fine as a reward, which is why the office found out about the case, despite the messages being private, Wu said.
Some people have baited others into offering pet boarding services and then reported them, he said.
Pet owners are also required to report births, otherwise they can be charged with breeding without a license and face fines of between NT$50,000 and NT$250,000, he said.
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