Pet owners should give their animals only medical drugs licensed in Taiwan, and avoid buying veterinary drugs online, the Hsinchu County Animal Disease Control Center said on Saturday.
Center Director Peng Cheng-yu (彭正宇) said that many medical products for pets, especially prescription-only drugs, can only be sold by licensed vendors such as pet supply stores, pharmacies and veterinary clinics.
Products that require licensing include flea control collars and ointments, he said, citing the Veterinary Drug Control Act (動物用藥品管理法).
Taiwan’s first eco-friendly pet cemetery is pictured in Kaohsiung’s Yanchao District on Wednesday.
Licensed vendors can sell animal medical products only at brick-and-mortar stores, he said, adding that online transactions are strictly prohibited.
“The most common illicit online transactions of pet drugs involve people selling off extra pet medicine, Internet users banding together to make large orders, which is illegal, or the online sale of animal drugs from dubious sources,” he said.
In the past few months, the center has dealt with five contraventions of the act, including one person who allegedly sold illegal veterinary medicines on the Internet, and prosecutors are investigating the cases, he said.
Three cases involved the online sales of animal care products the vendors described as having medical effects, and the center has fined the three vendors NT$200,000 (US$7,045) each, the minimum fine stipulated by the act, he said.
The remaining case involved an unlicensed vendor who sold animal drugs online, who was fined NT$90,000, Peng said.
In other news, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) on Wednesday presided over the inauguration of an eco-friendly pet cemetery, the first public facility of its kind in Taiwan.
The pet cemetery in the city’s Yenchao District (燕巢) has 3,500 plots and provides services for “tree and flower burials,” or the scattering of a deceased pet’s ashes on its 2,499m2 grounds including gardens with pavilions and scenic walks.
“The treatment of animals, including the burial of pets, is a sign of a nation’s level of civilization,” Chen said. “The cemetery is a milestone for Kaohsiung to become a pet-friendly city.”
The construction of the cemetery cost NT$8.5 million, of which NT$6 million was subsidized by the Council of Agriculture, he said.
Citing government statistics, Kaohsiung Mortuary Services Office Director Shih Ching-feng (石慶豐) said that more cats and dogs are kept in Taiwanese households than there are children under the age of 15, which indicates that many people see pets as family members.
The pet cemetery would prioritize service to those who registered their pets in Kaohsiung, he said.
The fees for burials would be NT$4,500 and for the scattering of ashes NT$3,500. Shih added.
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