Mon, Nov 11, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Hsinchu considers new pet cemetery at public park

DOGGIE HEAVEN?Hsinchu officials discussed how to properly dispose of beloved family pets, which are categorized as ‘trash,’ as the number of owners grows

By Huang Mei-chu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Hsinchu County Councilor Tu Wen-chung (杜文中) has proposed designating an area at the Hsinchu Life Memorial Park that would be used as a pet cemetery.

Tu said it is quite common these days for families to have no children or fewer children, compared to several generations ago. However, these families may then own pets instead.

A pet cemetery would allow pets to pass on with dignity and remain close to their families, Tu said.

“It would be a form of life education,” he said.

Hsinchu County’s Animal Disease Control Center director Peng Cheng-yu (彭正宇) said that by law, animals are not considered “people,” but categorized as “things,” adding that under the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法), animal corpses are handled as “trash.”

The price of cremation for a medium-sized canine is about NT$5,000, Peng said, adding that if the owner decides they want a ceremony and a slot in a columbarium, it could easily cost tens of thousands of New Taiwan dollars.

The center understands that no pet-loving family would like to think of their pet as “trash,” Peng said, adding that to that end, the center has negotiated a deal with private organizations.

Small cats or dogs, under 10kg in weight, will be charged NT$750 per animal for cremation, he said.

However, having the center handle the remains of animals would place a considerable burden on the county government, he said, noting that cremation — the easiest solution — would cost the county government NT$80,000 per tonne, not including the cost of transportation and storage.

Establishing an animal-only zone at the park to bury strays and house pets would provide the easiest solution with a more affordable cost, Peng said.

Bureau of Civil Affairs Deputy Director Chen Chien-chun (陳建淳) said the bureau would gladly comply, as long as the adopted measure is legal.

The park should not define “life” as only human life, Chen said, adding that for the plan to progress, the legal definition of a pet would need to be altered.

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