Students from 27 universities have launched a campaign to end the euthanasia of stray animals found on campuses, a conservationist said yesterday.
Members of 29 student groups from the universities gathered in Taipei from Aug. 13 through Aug. 15 for the first annual meeting of a league that aims to protect stray animals and particularly stray dogs, said Chou Chin-shan (周瑾珊), a spokeswoman for the non-profit Life Conservationist Association of Taiwan.
It was resolved at the meeting that the students would help create “no-kill campuses” for stray animals, based on the belief that caring for animals is part of showing respect for life.
League members called on the public to stop using brutal, inhumane methods to capture strays and to stop killing the animals.
Instead, they suggested that a TNR (trap, neuter and release) program be introduced on campuses to allow stray dogs to be caught using humane methods and neutered before being released to stay on campus or be adopted by dog lovers.
Participants at the meeting said that when spotting stray dogs on campuses, faculty or students should find out why the animals are there before notifying government centers to have them captured and killed.
They also said that university authorities should help student bodies financially to facilitate animal management on campus.
The TNR program, first launched at National Taiwan University in Taipei City in 2006, has also been promoted and implemented at National Chengchi University and National Yangming University in Taipei City, as well as Tamkang University in Taipei County, Chou said.
According to tallies compiled by the Council of Agriculture, a total of 68,018 stray animals were captured nationwide and sent to animal centers in 2002. The figure had risen to 132,905 by 2008 and was 125,106 last year.
Of these animals, 42,222 were euthanized in 2002, and the figure grew to 93,205 by last year.
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