Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Hsinchu tackles animal abuse

CITY ORDINANCE:New rules require employers to educate their employees on animal abuse prevention or face a fine if an employee kills or eats a cat or dog

By Hung Mei-hsiu  /  Staff reporter

Hsinchu City Council Speaker Hsu Siou-ruei, front row fifth left, and city councilors pose with two formerly abused poodles adopted by Hsu on Thursday to mark the passing of a self-government ordinance against animal abuse in the city.

Photo: Hung Mei-hsiu, Taipei Times

The Hsinchu City Council on Thursday passed an ordinance that aims to prevent animal abuse by imposing fines on employers of people who have killed or eaten cats and dogs.

The Hsinchu Self-government Ordinance on Animal Protection (新竹市動物保護自治條例) was proposed by Council Speaker Hsu Siou-ruei (許修睿) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and cosponsored by 19 city councilors.

It passed the first reading on Tuesday and was reviewed during an extraordinary session on Thursday.

The regulation aims to improve animal protection following a series of animal abuse cases, Hsu said.

Under the ordinance, owners are required to use a leash, carrier or other protective measures when taking their dog to a public venue, or any place where members of the public may enter, or be subject to a fine of NT$3,000 to NT$15,000.

The regulation also requires employers to educate their employees on animal abuse prevention.

If an employee is found to have trapped, killed or eaten a cat or dog after their employer failed to provide related information, in addition to the employee being fined for animal abuse, the employer would be subject to a fine of NT$15,000 to NT$75,000.

While the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法) already bans the manufacturing, display and sale of steel-jaw traps, the ordinance would ban the possession of such traps unless their use has been approved by regulatory authorities.

To reduce the number of such traps, a buyback program would be implemented, the regulation says.

The ordinance is “an important step toward making Hsinchu a more animal-friendly city,” Wang Wang Stray Animal Association president Yang Ying-ping (楊穎蘋) said.

The regulation could provide protection for animals where the Animal Protection Act does not, said Chang Yu-jung (張育榕), a painter and animal protection advocate.

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