Tue, Feb 12, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Man indicted for killing hamster during quarrel

By Chen En-hui and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Shilin District Prosecutors’ Office has charged a man surnamed Shih (施) with breaching the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法), and applied for a summary judgement after Shih turned himself in and cooperated throughout the office’s investigation.

Shih and his girlfriend, surnamed Chang (張), had a quarrel at Chang’s apartment in Taipei’s Nangang District (南港) in August last year. The quarrel started when Chang was cleaning a hamster cage, which housed a male and female hamster Chang and Shih had adopted on the Internet in June the previous year, prosecutors said.

Shih threw the hamster cage, which contained the male hamster, against a wall, then picked up the hamster after it rolled out of the cage and hurled it at the wall, killing it, the office said, adding that Chang had taken care of the female hamster, as she was cleaning that particular part of the cage.

Shih called the police and turned himself in, and the police alerted the Taipei Animal Protection Office, prosecutors said.

Under the act, the Taipei Animal Protection Office was obliged to perform an autopsy on the hamster and it confirmed that the hamster died from internal hemorrhaging.

As Shih had initiated the call to the police and turned himself in, he is eligible for a sentence reduction, prosecutors said, adding that they had applied for a summary judgement and recommended a relatively light sentence.

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