Animal rights advocates yesterday urged President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and lawmakers to enshrine the protection of animals in the Constitution, saying that existing laws are insufficient to stop the abuse of animals.
The advocates from different groups in February established an alliance to promote animal protection legislation, including by adding clauses on the protection of animals to the Constitution.
On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day yesterday, members of the alliance reiterated their demands at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
“There is only one Earth, and the health of humans and animals on the planet are interconnected,” Taiwan Animal Protection Monitor Network chairman Wang Wei-chi (王維治) said.
The alliance has written a letter to Tsai calling for a constitutional amendment to promote animal welfare, Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan executive director Wu Hung (悟泓) said, adding it would not impose a ban on the use of animals, just prevent their abuse.
“Whether it is from the perspective of food security, sustainable husbandry, disease prevention or scientific research, animal welfare is directly related to human welfare,” the letter states. “Just like humans are more vulnerable to diseases when they are under stress, or become weaker or injured, animals are more likely to be infected by new types of disease when their immune systems are affected by those factors.”
“Animals are able to feel pain and pressure, and respond to such stimuli. Their dignity of life should be respected and their welfare should be legally protected,” it states.
While the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法) imposes penalties on people who abuse animals, the effectiveness of the act is often undermined by other regulations, which shows the need to add clauses on animal protection to the nation’s highest law, the Constitution, Wu Hung said.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people protect each other by social distancing, but animals are kept in crowded cages that can be hotbeds of other viruses, he said.
The alliance yesterday met with the legislative caucus of the Taiwan People’s Party, which was the first political party to respond to their demands, Taiwan Animal Protection Monitor Network secretary-general Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳) said.
The alliance also plans to arrange meetings with the caucuses of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the New Power Party and the Democratic Progressive Party, Ho said.
Two people were killed and another nine injured yesterday after being stung by hornets while hiking in New Taipei City’s Rueifang District (瑞芳), with officials warning against wearing perfume or straying from trails during the autumn to avoid the potentially deadly creatures. Seven of the hikers only sustained minor injuries after being stung along the Bafenliao Hiking Trail (八分寮) and made their way down the mountain with a guide, the New Taipei City Fire Department said. Four of them — all male — sustained more serious injuries and were assisted when leaving the mountain, the department said. Two of them, a man surnamed
Recent movements by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have been “highly unusual,” but the military maintains a grasp of the situation, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said on Friday, after the military for the first time said it was monitoring troop movements in China’s Dacheng Bay (大埕灣). The minister gave the remarks to reporters before appearing at the legislature on the first day of its new session. The Ministry of National Defense on Thursday evening released an air force surveillance photograph of a PLA Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, and said it was monitoring the PLA Rocket Force and ground
‘ABNORMITY’: News of the military exercises on the coast of the Chinese province facing Taiwan were made public by the Ministry of National Defense on Thursday Taiwan’s military yesterday said it has detected the Chinese military initiating a round of exercises at a bay area in coastal Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan, since early yesterday morning and it has been closely monitoring the drills. The exercises being conducted at Fujian’s Dacheng Bay featured an undisclosed number of People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) warplanes, warships and ground troops, the Ministry of National Defense said in a press statement. The ministry did not disclose what kind of military exercises are being conducted there and for how long they would be happening, but it did say that it has been closely watching
China’s Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong has asked foreign consulates in Hong Kong to submit details of their local staff, which is more proof that the “one country, two systems” model no longer exists, a Taiwanese academic said. The office sent letters dated Monday last week to consulates in the territory, giving them one month to submit the information it requires. The move followed Beijing’s attempt to obtain floor plans for all properties used by foreign missions in Hong Kong last year, which raised concerns among diplomats that the information could be used for