The Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday said it would seek the to monitor and improve the management of public shelters following a protest by animal rights activists over the weekend seeking better animal shelters.
Following more than an hour of discussions with representatives from animal rights groups, the parties reached an agreement on most of the requests.
“Many of the advocates’ demands were indeed supposed to have been done by the council,” said Hsu Kuai-sheng (許桂森), director of the council’s husbandry division, before he thanked them for highlighting current problems.
In response to the advocates’ demand that shelters be kept clean, Hsu said: “We are willing to call upon specialists and veterinarians ... and begin disease evaluation at the shelters.”
Hsu added that if a case of severe canine distemper is found, the allocation of cages in the shelter would be reviewed by specialists.
Animal rights advocate Huang Tai-shan (黃泰山) said Hsu agreed during their meeting that the division would formulate an action plan to solve this problem within three months.
In addition, Hsu said the division would send out a notice to every public animal shelter, asking them to scan for implanted microchips according to regulations.
“If violations are found, we will certainly punish those responsible immediately and severely,” Hsu said. “Scanning for identity microchips is necessary, because it determines a dog’s life.”
Huang said the council agreed to begin enforcement within a week, “so if anyone sees a violation of this matter at the shelters, they can report the case to the council, and Hsu promised that they would impose administrative executions.”
Responding to the demand volunteers be allowed to help and take pictures at the shelters, Hsu said the council was glad to have their assistance and would ask the shelters to make an effort to ensure this happens.
Regarding the issue of euthanizing dogs, the council agreed to allow oversight by veterinarians recommended by the animal rights groups to ensure they are done according to regulations.
The council also said pet owners should take care of their pets, neuter them and not abandon them, as these were basic solutions to solving the problem of stray animals.